Assemblyman Gusciora Running for Mayor of Trenton
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15) today announced that he will seek the Mayoralty left vacant by outgoing Mayor Eric Jackson.
“I am extremely excited to announce my candidacy for Mayor,” Gusciora said. “As a resident, a taxpayer, and a long-standing Assemblyman representing the City, I believe I have a lot to offer Trenton as a leader, and that my experience will help me create better outcomes for our citizens.”
He’s had 20 plus years of knowing the player.
Asked if his decision to run has anything to do with Mercer Democrats trying to figure out how to simultaneously and impossibly accommodate Freeholder Ton Verrelli of the Carpenters Union and a woman – preferably a black woman from Trenton, to replace Acting Treasurer (and former assemblywoman) Liz Muoio, Gusciora said, “Not at all.”
InsiderNJ asked the assemblyman if he backs anyone for Muoio’s seat.
“I’m a big believer in this round that it should be up to the rank and file,” he said. “I hope I have a partner there who will keep Trenton a priority.”
First elected to the General Assembly in 1996, Gusciora – a prosecutor – moved to Trenton as a consequence of 2011 redistricting, which severed Princeton Twp. from the rest of the 15th District.
He lives in the Hilltonia section of the West Ward.
“I’d like to be part of ‘we are Trenton,'” he said. “None of us should be exclusive proprietors of the capital city.”
He counts assistance with construction of the high school over Governor Chris Christie’s objections as one of his proudest accomplishments. Amid political upheaval in the capital city as insiders scratched their heads over Jackson’s intentions, Gusciora told InsiderNJ earlier this month that if Jackson decided not to run again, he would run instead.
So he is now.
“As a legislator, I’ve come to understand the big-picture issues that affect our urban areas, and how their deeply interconnected nature can compound existing problems,” said the veteran Democratic assemblyman, New Jersey’s first openly gay state lawmaker. “The only way to address one issue is by addressing multiple issues simultaneously. We need to increase our reliance on community policing and increase public safety resources so that people feel safe walking down the street to local businesses any time, day or night.
“We need to invest in our communities, promote homeownership, and hold predatory landlords accountable for their actions, so that lifelong Trenton residents, as well as newcomers, feel comfortable living, working, and playing in the City,” Gusciora added. “Most importantly, we need to improve educational outcomes by investing heavily in our educational resources – as we develop Trenton’s economy, so that graduates have jobs that pay well enough to support them and their families.”
One of New Jersey’s strongest and longest-serving progressive voices, Gusciora emphasized the need to work with the incoming Murphy Administration in order to promote Trenton’s revitalization.
“For the past eight years, we’ve all watched as Governor Christie ignored the City of Trenton, much to its detriment,” he said. “We need a Mayor who has strong relationships with officials at the County and State level in order to fully benefit from the progressive policies promised to New Jersey by Governor Murphy – over the past 20 years, I’ve built those critical connections, and am ready to put them to work in a new role.”
Gusciora intends to make an official announcement to supporters next week.