New Jersey has evolved as a state and as a place to live through political, economic and environmental challenges. Hurricane Sandy pushed us to the limit, but demonstrated the resolve of New Jerseyans when faced with extreme adversity.

Perhaps Donna Abene sums up the feeling of many when she says, “I love New Jersey. I was born and raised here, raised my children here. I think it is the greatest state in the Country”

Abene was born and raised in Hudson County (North Bergen) and currently lives in a semi-rural section of the State (Woodcliff Lake). She has witnessed the diversity in New Jersey’s environment, as well as its people. She also recognizes the challenges that the State presents for the future.

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We are the state with the highest taxes and dwindling resources and a spiraling crime rate. Only a disciplined resolve can deliver us from the abyss. Nevertheless, as New Jerseyans, we have proven that we are committed survivors.

Abene epitomizes the determination that we possess, and is representative of our refusal to quit when times get tough.

As a state, we have faced negative attention when referred to as the “Soprano State” or occasionally forgotten as a satellite of New York City and Philadelphia. Yet, our commitment has not dissipated.

Donna Abene, who has served for years as a Woodcliff Lake Councilwoman, represents that resolve. As someone who finds corruption in government unacceptable, she is now vying for a seat in the State Legislature. To sit back and do nothing, she believes, would be the greatest crime of all.

Certainly, New Jersey will overcome the challenges that it faces. In order to do so, we must rally behind leadership of those who truly love the state, its history, and its promise for the future.