Call it the week of gubernatorial comebacks. Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey (D), who resigned in 2004 after admitting to an affair and coming out as gay, is taking a cabinet post in his state's second-largest city.
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop (D) announced Friday that McGreevey will be joining his administration as executive director of the Jersey City Employment and Training Commission, the Jersey Journal reported. The move comes days after former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D), who resigned in 2007 after a prostitution scandal, announced his bid for New York City comptroller. Jersey City lies across the Hudson River from Manhattan.
“Gov. McGreevey has worked hands-on with the inmate population and with re-entry programs and will be a valuable asset to us as we develop a re-entry program for Jersey City,” Fulop said in a statement to the Jersey Journal. “We are fortunate to have such a distinguished and knowledgeable individual to lead what is one of the most critical positions.”
McGreevey, a former executive director of the state parole board, will also work on programs for recently released inmates, NJ.com reported.
Since his election, speculation has grown that Fulop may make his own gubernatorial bid in four to eight years. Friday's appointment places a former governor, who is considered one of the more talented New Jersey politicians of his generation, in Fulop's inner circle.
Earlier this week, McGreevey told PolitickerNJ.com that he did not plan to run for office again and follow in the footsteps of Spitzer, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who is running for New York City mayor, or Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), who was elected to Congress earlier this year following a sex scandal while serving as the South Carolina governor. McGreevey told the political news website that he preferred to be involved at the local level versus the state level. Before his gubernatorial election in 2001, McGreevey served as Woodbridge mayor and as a state senator.
Fulop, who was elected in May, has had increasing ties to McGreevey. The former governor was part of the new mayor's transition team, amid speculation by some that McGreevey had provided advice to Fulop during the campaign. Two of Healy's top campaign aides, Sean Darcy and Joshua Henne, had both served on McGreevey's gubernatorial staff.
McGreevey stepped down from office in 2004, after coming out and admitting to hiring a man he was intimately involved with as the state homeland security adviser. McGreevey and Spitzer's resignation press conferences were nearly identical, with the wives of both men standing by their sides.