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Central Jersey is real. But New Jersey has 5 regions, not 3.

Not that people ever need an excuse to debate the merits of Central Jersey, but they have one currently thanks to the New Jersey state assembly and some legislative rumblings.

Here is where ESNY stands on the matter:

Central Jersey is real. But there are not three regions in the Garden State. There are five. And they are not defined by county borders.

West Jersey consists of Hunterdon, Sussex and Warren Counties and the western half of Morris County.

North Jersey is the eastern half of Morris County as well as Bergen, Essex, Hudson Passaic and Union Counties.

Central Jersey is Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset Counties.

The Shore is Monmouth and Ocean Counties as well as all coastline in Atlantic and Cape May Counties.

South Jersey is Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties, plus the rest of Atlantic and Cape May Counties.

Let me be clear: This is a first draft. I am open to further tweaks. West Jersey will be a controversial spot. Maybe Bernardsville or Hopewell Valley or West Milford want in. Maybe Morristown and Rockaway want out. Cranford and Westfield could angle for Central Jersey status. Does Perth Amboy want a transfer to the Shore? It’s all on the table. But the five-region format is not up for debate. The three-region format is just too restrictive. West Jersey is real, folks. Get to it, Trenton.

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James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.