Reed Gusciora leads the pack

In less than three weeks, Trentonians will likely go to the polls and re-elect mayor Reed Gusciora and several new city council members. Gusciora received an endorsement from New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy earlier this month, thus paving the way, many contend, will be a big win for the incumbent mayor.

Also, in a recent informal survey across the capital city, Gusciora is heavily favored to trounce and trample his three hapless competitors. They include current embattled Council President Kathy McBride—whose tenure as Council president has been marred by controversy and scandal since day one. With countless lawsuits, allegations of gross incompetence, public shouting matches, and a smug demeanor that permeates before, during and after city council meetings, McBride’s once glittering image as “The darling of the city of Trenton,” has long since fizzled and evaporated into dust somewhere on Perry Street.

In a recent interview with National Public Radio/NPR/WHYY, McBride played the race card in describing her sorry stint as Council president. She said, “A Black female is one of the most unprotected and disrespected humans in this country. If it had been any other person sitting in the seat I am sitting in it would not be so.”

I may be inclined to agree with a portion of her statement. However, like many people, when I think of influential and highly respected women of color in New Jersey politics, several come to mind. I think about Sheila Oliver—the first African American Lt. Governor; Tahesha Way, the current Secretary of State and Paula Dow, the first African American state Attorney General–those three ladies immediately come to mind and epitomize respectability, influence, style and class, Kathy McBride does not.

The two other contenders for the mayor’s spot, Robin Vaughn and Cherie Garrette, will barely make a dent into Gusciora’s ultimate re-election. What can you say about “Radioactive Robin” that hasn’t already been said and written? Infamous for her filthy mouth and expletive-laced tirades–she cursed out the mayor in a widely viewed and posted recording, cursed out a disabled man and assaulted her sister in a Trenton parking lot. She is a frequent no-show for city council meetings and was encouraged to resign by Gov. Phil Murphy and Senator Cory Booker. Vaughn would bring a level of disgrace, embarrassment, and gutter politics the mayor’s office hasn’t seen since the days of Tony Mack.

As for Garrette, I was initially impressed with her. A commissioner with the Trenton Housing Authority with a solid background in economics and finance, I thought she would be a plus for the city and solving its poor financial track record.

However, my modestly favorable impression waned after watching her dull and lackluster performance at a Candidates Forum in Trenton late last month. Long-winded and rambling, Garrette took forever to answer a question or make a point, and even then, I was unclear about exactly what she was babbling about. When she finally got there, I somewhat agreed with her comments about how “gentrification” is occurring in the city of Trenton. I wished she hadn’t taken the most roundabout road in plainly explaining her plan for the city to voters. She also recently got in trouble for improperly hanging campaign signs in the city. Her team quickly removed the banners.

YouTube video

Finally, as Election Day gets closer, a new, stable and secure City Council with persuasive, intelligent, and amenable members and solid leadership is needed to make a second term for Gusciora a success and rebuild and restore Trenton. At this point, there are no other alternatives.

I'm an award winning journalist based in Edison, NJ. My work has been featured in dozens of publications including, Black Enterprise magazine; ESSENCE magazine and Real Health magazine. I am also a featured...

Join the Conversation


  1. Great perspective Glenn on the City of Trenton political landscape. I too was at the forum when Mrs. Garrett clearly displayed she had no reason even being on the stage.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *