Reed Gusciora elected Capital City’s first openly-gay Mayor

NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora was the first NJ State government legislator to be an out politician
NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora was the first NJ State government legislator to be an out politician
Meet Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora

Gusciora came out back in 2006 as the state of New Jersey’s first openly-gay legislator. 12 years later, he will become Trenton’s first openly-gay mayor. He won the runoff election against Paul Perez 4,500 to 4,145 votes this week. Gusciora had lost to Perez in the May election by 740 votes with many other candidates on the ballot. But he came on strong in the June runoff when it was just the two of them on the ballot.

The timing of the election win means that Trenton mayor Reed Gusciora must resign from his role in the state legislature before taking his place in Trenton City Hall on July 1. Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) is an Assemblyman in the state’s 15th Legislative District. He has been the districts Assemblyman since 1996. Mercer County Freeholder and Hopewell resident Anthony Verrelli and West Windsor Councilwoman Ayesha Krishnan Hamilton are rumored to be the top two possibilities to fill Gusciora’s seat next month. Both have tried for the spot previously.

Gusciora takes office in Trenton facing at least one major issue in the Trenton Water Works immediately. The Department has been mismanaged and the City has had several water quality issues in the past few years based on readings from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Trenton revitalization is key

Another issue Trenton mayor Reed Gusciora will have to tackle is revitalization of the city. There have been many problems over a long period of time. The last two administrations have been innefective. There was corruption with Tony Mack. And the previous administration was ineffective with Eric Jackson as the mayor. In the past, Gusciora has said that if he had won the city’s top job, his main focus would be competency in the administration. He said filling vacant spots at the beleaguered Trenton Water Works will be first, and boosting public safety will be his other key area of concentration in 2018.

J.L. Gaynor
Out In Jersey magazine contributor J.L. Gaynor spent eight years in the newsrooms of two major New Jersey papers. A Jersey girl through and through: born, raised, and educated in New Jersey. Jen now lives in Maryland and has two dogs she adores, and reads just about anything she can get her hands on.