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Gay Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey Runs for Jersey City Mayor

James McGreevey Former NJ Governor
Image: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO

Jim McGreevey famously came out when he resigned as New Jersey governor in 2004.

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Jim McGreevey, who stepped down as New Jersey governor when he came out as gay in 2004, announced Thursday that he’s running for mayor of Jersey City.

He had hinted about the run earlier, but now his candidacy is official. The election is in 2025.

His announcement video, titled “Second Chances,” acknowledges the circumstances of his resignation as governor, starting with footage of the press conference in which McGreevey said he is “a gay American” and was having an affair with a man while married to a woman. He calls his infidelity “inexcusable” but says he has learned and grown since then.

“I would not have traded anything that I have experienced,” he says. “It’s made me a better person, more compassionate.”

He then talks about the work he’s done with the New Jersey Reentry Corp., a nonprofit he founded to help formerly incarcerated people reenter society, and with a prison ministry.

His daughter appears in the video, saying of her father, “His work taught me a lot about second chances and a lot about people. What’s the point, if we just throw everyone away who’s ever made a mistake?”

McGreevey says his priorities as mayor will include affordable housing and ensuring that Jersey City is accessible to all. “If Jersey City becomes unaffordable for the people who built this, something’s terribly wrong,” he says. “We have this great asset in our development, but we have to keep our city affordable.”

“I want to make sure that Jersey City works for my daughter and for her generation,” he adds. “So that Jersey City is about opportunity for working families, people who want to give back and make the community better.”

McGreevey is a Democrat, and the mayor’s race is officially nonpartisan, but the winner is likely to be a Democrat, as Jersey City and surrounding Hudson County are heavily Democratic. Several mayors of other Hudson County cities have endorsed McGreevey. The current mayor of Jersey City, Steven Fulop, has said he won’t seek reelection, running for governor instead

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.