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Nation's first openly gay governor looking to re-enter politics after nearly 20 years

Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey announced that he will seek the mayor’s office in Jersey City in 2025.
New York Premiere Of The HBO Documentary Fall To Grace
Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey at the 2013 premiere of "Fall to Grace," an HBO documentary about his career.Michael Loccisano / Getty Images for HBO
/ Source: The Associated Press

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The nation’s first openly gay governor is looking to re-enter politics nearly 20 years after he left.

Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey announced Thursday that he will seek the mayor’s office in Jersey City in 2025. He made the announcement in a video posted online and planned to formally launch his campaign with a news conference later in the day.

McGreevey, a Democrat, is a former Woodbridge Township mayor who was elected governor in 2002. He announced in August 2004 that he was “a gay American” and acknowledged having an extramarital affair with a male staffer. He resigned that year.

“I was imperfect and I’ll always be imperfect,” McGreevey, 66, said at the start of the video, which shows him watching a portion of his resignation announcement. “It’s important to take responsibility and do the next right thing.”

New Jersey Governor James McGreevey announces his resignatio
New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey announces his resignation in Trenton on Aug. 12, 2004.Steve Hockstein / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

After leaving office, McGreevey founded the New Jersey Reentry Corporation, which provides job training, counseling and many other services to people who are released from prison and returning to communities they may have left decades before.

McGreevey is the first to announce his run for mayor. He’s hoping to succeed three-term Mayor Steve Fulop, who has already announced he’s running for governor in 2025.

Jersey City, located across the Hudson River from New York City, has about 284,000 residents and is the state’s second-most populous city.