Former Gov. McGreevey opens campaign account to run for Jersey City mayor


Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey opened a campaign account to run for Jersey City mayor, a race that’s just over two years away, this afternoon.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

McGreevey filed his D-1 form with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJ ELEC) this afternoon, which indicates he is opening a mayoral account.

McGreevey has been teasing a run for mayor for several months, launching the Jack and Ronnie McGreevey Civic Association last month, sending a letter to homeowners a few weeks later that noted he was considering another bid for office, as HCV first reported.

Also a former state assemblyman, state senator, and Woodbridge mayor, McGreevey has not run for office since he won the governorship in 2001, eventually resigning in August 2004 after admitting he had been having an affair with a man while married to a woman.

While he has not run for office since then, he has been politically active since taking up the cause of reentry, currently serving as the chairman of the New Jersey Reentry Corporation, advocating at the state level for ex-prisoners trying to get back into society.

McGreevey lists his treasurer as Angelo Caliente, the payroll supervisor for the Union City Board of Education and the treasurer for the Brian Stack Civic Association.

This is not unexpected given that Stack, the Union City mayor and state senator of the 33rd Legislative District, has been one of McGreevey’s earliest and most ardent supporters.

McGreevey also said on Twitter earlier this month that his civic association is “based upon” Stack’s.

McGreevey has the de facto endorsement of nine of the 12 Hudson County mayors already, with the exceptions of Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Kearny Acting Mayor Peter Santana, and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop – who is running for governor instead of seeking a fourth term.

Fulop and McGreevey have had an icy relationship ever since the now defunct Jersey City Employment and Training Program fired the latter in January 2019.

While there are still no formally declared candidates for the November 4th, 2025 Jersey City mayoral contest, McGreevey filed his paperwork about 24 hours after HCV reported that Hudson County Commissioner Bill O’Dea (D-2), has $450,312.85 cash on hand.

Both O’Dea and McGreevey are expected to officially declare they’re running before Thanksgiving, potentially making it a grueling two-year campaign for each of them.

Council President Joyce Watterman and Ward E Councilman James Solomon are both possible contenders as well, with Watterman already connected to a Washington, D.C.-based super PAC.

On Wednesday morning, McGreevey said in an email blast that he’d be hosting his campaign kickoff at El Sabor Del Cafe Restaurant on Thursday, November 9th.

“It is a day when we will begin to bring the change we need to Jersey City: to work for greater accountability, reliable services, clean and safe streets, and control property taxes for working families,” he wrote.

“As my friend Mayor Stack has set a visible, tangible standard of excellence in Union City, so too we must work harder and smarter for the residents and community of our Jersey City.”


Editor’s note: This story was updated with new information about Jim McGreevey’s campaign kickoff. 

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  1. Disgraced former Governor Jim McGreevey has been very publicly living with his multimillionaire partner Mark O’Donnell in their 17 room 7,300 sq ft, 1914 Georgian estate Plainfield’s historic district and does not qualify to run for public office in Jersey City.

  2. I’m too young to remember McGreevey’s time as governor with any nuance, so I guess I’ll keep an open mind and see what his platform is like. But, I want to clarify that McGreevey didn’t just cheat on his wife with a man. He cheated on his wife and used his power as governor to give his boy toy a high paying no-show job paid for by taxpayers for which the boy toy was not qualified. How good a husband he was isn’t nearly as relevant to voters as examples of how he has wielded positions of power in the past.

    If he is still pushing the “I resigned because I was gay and in 2004 that wasn’t accepted” narrative instead of owning up to what actually happened, then I don’t really care what his positions are on issues I care about.

    • You need to look up David D’Amiano’s indictment. Jimmy is all over it as State Official 1. He was corrupt and still keeps corrupt circles in his network. Look who’s around him these days.

    • In 2002 McGreevey’s reportedly much younger gay lover Golan Cipel was foreign national, he appointed him the New Jersey’s homeland security advisor ($110.000) despite Cipel’s lack of relevant experience or qualifications. The State Department refused to give him a security clearance that would be needed to anyone to do the job he was given.

  3. His history of corruption is extensive. In addition to trying to place his significant other in a high-paying/high-profile office pertaining to national security in the immediate wake of 9/11, he also —

    1) Got caught on tape using the code word “Machiavelli” known to have been predetermined as confirmation of an agreement to extort Piscataway farm owner Mark Harper of a $40k campaign contribution in exchange for favorable treatment by the state
    2) Was attached at the hip to top fundraiser Charles Kushner — yes, father of Jared Kushner — when he paid a prostitute to lure his brother-in-law into an extortion trap. It was then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie who led the investigation and prosecution, for which he eventually got his comeuppance when Jared got him ousted from Trump’s inner circle (since when Christie has decided Trump is a menace).
    3) Was a micromanaged hand-puppet of former Middlesex County boss John Lynch, one of the most nefarious, vindictive, profoundly corrupt and, allegedly, just a wee bit wife-beaty, of any NJ boss of the modern era. McGreevey owed Lynch his political career up to that point, and acted accordingly, supposedly on the phone with him hours a day for the first 18 months of his governorship.

    Granted, this was all a couple of decades ago, and people can change and deserve second chances. But the record should be out in the open for public examination, not dust-gathering ancient history left unremembered by most.

  4. Any person would wish to be half as good as Mayor Stack. Most of these comments are all from people who do not live in Jersey City. The campaign will be about who is best qualified to run the City. He has lived in Jersey City for over 8 years which is longer than two recent Mayors who were elected to office in Jersey City.

    • You may not want to remember the past, but we do.

      The people of Jersey City will decide this election, but the people of Woodbridge will have their say… we remember Jim McGreevey. We remember lots about him. Lots.

  5. Oh please spare us all Gerry! You are no Mr. Clean and your antics from when you were Mayor are still remembered by many of us who were around at the time. Why you were allowed to have a city job after your convictions says it all.