Home>Campaigns>Reynolds-Jackson won’t say if she’ll weigh in on Trenton local races

Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson at Gov. Phil Murphy's fiscal year 2023 budget address delivered on March 8, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe).

Reynolds-Jackson won’t say if she’ll weigh in on Trenton local races

Trenton assemblywoman previously represented Trenton’s East Ward

By Joey Fox, September 15 2022 11:54 am

As Trenton’s lone hometown representative in the New Jersey State Legislature, Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Trenton) could play an important role in this year’s Trenton municipal elections, with the mayor’s office and all seven council seats up in November. But at least for now, she’s staying on the sidelines.

Reynolds-Jackson declined to say today whether she planned on eventually wading into any of the city’s local races, instead insisting that she was focused on ensuring the election is run smoothly and with an eye toward accessibility.

“I want to focus on voting protection: making sure we have access to our polls, making sure we have plenty of poll workers, making sure we have access for our disabled population as well as people that don’t speak the language,” she said. “We have an important election, and we need to make sure that all voters come out and participate so that their voices are heard.”

Before becoming an assemblywoman, Reynolds-Jackson represented Trenton’s East Ward on the city council for eight years. When then-Assemblywoman Elizabeth Maher Muoio (D-Ewing) was nominated by Gov. Phil Murphy to serve as state treasurer in 2018, Reynolds-Jackson won a special election convention to replace her.

Trenton’s municipal politics have been defined in recent years by the rancor between Mayor Reed Gusciora and several members of the city council – most prominently Council President Kathy McBride and Councilwoman Robin Vaughn, both of whom have repeatedly made offensive remarks.

Now, both McBride and Vaughn are running for mayor against Gusciora, and a large field of candidates has developed for the city’s many open council seats. Racial dynamics could also play an important role; Gusciora is white, but the city he leads is overwhelmingly Black and Hispanic.

Asked whether she hoped that the winners of this year’s election would finally bring an end to such discord, Reynolds-Jackson, who served with Gusciora in the Assembly for most of 2018, said only that the voters of Trenton would make that choice.

“The voters are going to come out in great numbers to elect who they want to be the leader of Trenton,” she said.

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