Hopewell mayor announces bid for Gusciora’s vacant assembly seat

Hopewell Mayor Kevin Kuchinski (D) announced his candidacy for the state Assembly on Wednesday. The seat was previously held by Reed Gusciora, who was sworn in as the mayor of Trenton last week. (Courtesy photo)
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Hopewell Mayor Kevin Kuchinski (D) announced his candidacy for the state Assembly on Wednesday. The seat was previously held by Reed Gusciora, who was sworn in as the mayor of Trenton last week. (Courtesy photo)

Hopewell Township Mayor Kevin Kuchinski has announced his plans to seek the state Assembly seat in the 15th Legislative District, five days after former Assemblyman Reed Gusciora was sworn in as the mayor of Trenton.

Kuchinski made his announcement to take Gusicora’s place in the state assembly on July 5. Gusciora, who vacated the seat to become Trenton’s mayor, had represented Hopewell Township, Hopewell Borough, Pennington Borough and Lawrence Township in the 15th Legislative District since 1996.

Kuchinski, who is a Democrat, has served on Hopewell Township Committee since 2015. He has held the ceremonial position of mayor since 2016. The mayor is elected from among township committee members.

“New Jersey needs a new generation of strong, progressive leaders who will fight for Main Street, not Wall Street, [and] leaders who will strengthen protections for our water and the environment,” Kuchinski said in his announcement.

Kuchinski has been active in opposing the planned PennEast natural gas pipeline since it was proposed in 2014. The pipeline, which terminates in Hopewell Township, passes through Mercer and Hunterdon counties.

Kuchinski said he plans to share his full platform, including steps to accelerate economic growth in central New Jersey, in the next few weeks.

As a mayor, he said, he understands first-hand the issues facing residents in Mercer and Hunterdon counties. He added that he plans to build on former Assemblyman Gusciora’s achievements, which includes leading the charge to bring fairness back into New Jersey.

In addition to serving on Hopewell Township Committee, Kuchinski is the president of the Hopewell Valley Education Foundation and the co-chair of the advisory board for the Watershed Institute – the new name for the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association.

Kuchinski worked in marketing at Church & Dwight and Proctor & Gamble, before becoming a partner in Sourland Mountain Spirits, which is a farm-based craft distillery.