JERSEY CITY, N.J. (PIX11) — Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey wants back into politics 19 years after he came out as gay, admitted to an extramarital affair with another man, and resigned.

McGreevey is now the first major contender to enter the race for mayor of Jersey City.

“I believe in the American dream with every fiber of my being, but as mayor I can help to make it a reality, and that’s what I’m going to do,” McGreevey declared while announcing.

McGreevey joked that he is a little grayer and a whole lot wiser than the man whose resignation rocked New Jersey politics back in 2004.

Since resigning and admitting to living a double life that included an extramarital affair with another man — and in the wake of other controversies involving appointments, resignations, and fundraisers — McGreevey pursued becoming a priest and ministered to inmates.

McGreevey has primarily worked with people getting out of prison and is currently serving as executive director of the New Jersey Reentry Corporation.

“I come to this challenge both with skills from outside and inside government,” McGreevey said. “What I see at this moment is an opportunity — but also Jersey City at a crossroads.”

The announcement created quite a stir as people tried to pack the restaurant in Jersey City’s Greenville neighborhood to hear McGreevey.

It is a part of Jersey City that has not seen the same growth and transformation in recent years as downtown and other areas. Many expressed concerns they hope the next mayor addresses, particularly around cost of living, employment opportunities, child care and education.

But McGreevey will not be the only one running for Jersey City mayor. Other candidates including Hudson County Commissioner Bill O’Dea plan to declare soon.

“I bring real experience of getting that stuff done, not just talking about it,” O’Dea said.

The election is in November 2025.