Reed Gusciora defeated Paul Perez in yesterday’s runoff election to become Trenton’s next mayor, according to unofficial results from the Mercer County clerk’s office.
Gusciora earned 52 percent of the vote to become mayor-elect. However, only 8,645 people — or about 22 percent — of eligible voters cast their ballot in the June 12 election.
Marge Caldwell-Wilson, George Muschal, Joesph A. Harrison and Robin Vaughn were elected to Trenton council, according to the unofficial results.
No candidate secured more than 50 percent of the vote in the May 8 non-partisan municipal election, but in yesterday’s runoff election Gusciora earned 355 more votes than Perez to secure him a spot as mayor-elect.
Gusciora is the first openly gay mayor in Trenton’s history. According to his website, he is “a Democrat who has served in the New Jersey General Assembly since 1996, representing the 15th Legislative District, which includes portions of Mercer and Hunterdon Counties, including the Capital City of Trenton.”
His campaign-related website adds, “Currently, he works as a municipal prosecutor in Princeton, Lawrenceville, and Hopewell boroughs, and as a professor at the College of New Jersey. Reed moved to Trenton from Princeton in 2011 because he believed in the city’s potential, drawing on his childhood experiences.”
Gusciora will replace current Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson, who made history by deciding not to seek re-election after a single term. Incumbent Trenton mayors generally have enjoyed a long tenure of ongoing or habitual support — unless, of course, they ended up in a federal penitentiary.
Mayor Arthur Holland held the position for 26 years and died in office in 1989. Doug Palmer held the position for 20 years (1990 to 2010). Mayor Tony Mack followed in 2010 but was sent to prison in 2014.
In a statement, county executive Brian M. Hughes congratulated Gusciora on his victory. “Now we can begin the work of uplifting our great capital city,” Hughes said.