Gina Genovese: Running for New Jersey Governor
As the first openly gay mayor in the state of New Jersey, Gina Genovese has come a long way from being a professional player in the sport of tennis.
Now Gina is running for the post of Governor of New Jersey as an independent and she’s aiming to make a difference for the New Jersey community.
Gina Genovese: New Jersey born and bred
Born on April 30, 1959 in Newark, Gina was raised in Union Township in Union County, New Jersey.
She moved to Berkeley Heights at the age of 12 and studied at Kent Place School in Summit, graduating in 1977.
She said of her stint at school that, “I reinforced my belief that women can change the world.”
Gina Genovese: A stint in tennis
In 1980, she joined the Women’s Tennis Association circuit and managed to get a world ranking of 150.
However, she was forced to retire the following year because of an injury
That didn’t stop her from still being involved in tennis as she opened her own business, a tennis club called Gina’s Tennis World in Berkeley Heights.
Through this club, which she still owns and operates, she has managed to coach over 25 nationally-ranked players.
Gina Genovese: Moving into politics
In 2004, she ran for a position on the Long Hill Township committee, beating the four-time Republican incumbent and becoming the only Democrat on the committee.
In 2006, she became the mayor of Long Hill Township in Morris County, the the first openly gay mayor in New Jersey.
“As mayor, I experienced how local government works and how inefficiently it provides services to the community,” she said.
In 2007, she ran for the New Jersey State Senate but lost to Republican incumbent Thomas Kean Jr.
Gina Genovese: Property taxes platform
Now Gina’s running for New Jersey governor on a platform centered on sharing services between municipalities, which could reduce property tax bills for many New Jersey homeowners.
“I feel that the only hope for New Jersey is if I at least bring this message to the governor’s race so people can talk about real issues and real solutions and look at the elephant in the living room,” Genovese said in an interview with Observer.
Because New Jersey has so many municipalities, studies show that it has the highest property taxes in the country.
Gina believes in her platform, having founded in 2009 the nonprofit organization Courage to Connect NJ, which focuses on pushing for shared services between towns.
As the only LGBT candidate in the gubernatorial race, she married her life partner of 20 years, Wendy Cahill, in 2013.