Much of the Northeast tends to run by Republics; Either Merchant City States, territories administrated by the Church, or just a few peasant towns making their way in the world, New Jersey is a feudal state. New Jersey is one of a few feudal kingdoms found between Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound. The Pine Barrens have largely kept them off the coast, where the concentrate on the fertile fields within. Jersey is perhaps the most prominent due to the more fertile inland, and the Delaware River, one of the highways that connects the Northeast and Midwest.
This also owes largely to the presence of the Families. In some ways, they're different from the knights found in the heartland, as the warlords are not mounted knights for the most part, but hold pikemen armies. Their origins are a little different as well. the New Jersey warlords are a class that used to be a lower class, often underworld and secretive in their wars. But the tactics were essentially the same as the other warlords: Intimidation of the peasants, blood ties and a very organized hierarchy. In fact, the Non-Denominational Church found them to actually be more reasonable and easier to neogitate with than the petty knights throwing their weight around. It was just a matter of finding a family who was on the same page as them, faith-wise, since most of the families still practiced Catholicism.
One of the more respected clans was the Giaccino family. The Giaccino has aspirations of royalty, and were on relatively good trading terms with the United States. Also, Don Michael Giaccino really saw little point in sticking to a Church who's influence in the region was disappearing by the generation. The Giaccinos had eventually converted to Non-Denom, gaining the Church's blessing and allies from surrounding areas. Wiping out rivals like Martones and the Demasias, the Giaccino family was now out in the open and legitimate.