She won a seat in the New Jersey General Assembly and served 6 terms, a total of 11 years, before winning her state Senate seat in 2011.
Greenstein recently discussed the characteristics of the 14th district, which has become a coveted electoral prize in recent years.
“When I think of the district I think of it as definitely a district with a lot of senior citizens who are very active. So that’s a factor.”
She also sees a growing Asian-American population in the 14th, which it certainly had when West Windsor Twp. was part of it before redistricting took place in 2011.
“There’s a large union population. That’s great for me because I am a strong believer in collective bargaining. It was very easy for me to be against the way they dealt with pensions,” she said, referring to the legislation Christie signed early in his administration, enacting pension reform affecting public employees.
Greenstein says her allegiance to unions is deeply held, going back to her father and grandfather who were retail merchants in Brooklyn. “To me, it’s part of my value system,” she said. My father was a member of what here in New Jersey is Local 108 (Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union), and my grandfather was a union member. I think the governor has a very different sensibility. He doesn’t like unions. He wants to get rid of them. I just think the governor is coming from a very different place.”
“I think this district is competitive because Hamilton is a swing town,” she said. “It can go either way. People know us and they know they can depend on us. I think in this district legislators do it the way it’s supposed to be done.”
During her years in the General Assembly, Greenstein served as deputy speaker in 2006, and for four years was assistant majority leader. She also chaired the Assembly Judiciary Committee and was a member of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.
The Democratic state Assembly candidates in the 14th district are Dan Benson and Wayne DeAngelo, both incumbents. Benson served on the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders 2008-2011 and on the Hamilton Township Council 2002-2005. He is a member of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee and is vice chair of the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
Benson, 38, is married, and he and his wife have two children and live in Hamilton Twp. His wife is a professor at Drexel University’s LeBow School of Business in Philadelphia. Benson is a Telecom and Regulatory Consultant for Erricsson, the multinational Swedish telecommunications corporation, whose USA headquarters is in Plano, TX.
DeAngelo, who will be 48 on Election Day, was born and raised in Hamilton Twp. where he says his family has lived for four generations. He has been married 24 years and he and his wife have two daughters, one in high school and one attending Rutgers University. The president and assistant business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 269 in Trenton, DeAngelo is vice chair of the Assembly Labor Committee and is a member of the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.
Greenstein’s opponent for her state Senate seat, Peter A. Inverso, served the 14th district for 16 years from 1992-2008, and while in the state Senate served as vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He was assistant majority leader from 1998-2001, and deputy minority leader from 2004-2008. The Republican slate for General Assembly includes Steven Cook of Hamilton Twp. and Ronald Haas of Monroe Twp. Libertarians are represented in the 14th district election by state Senate candidate Don DeZarn of East Windsor Twp., and General Assembly candidates Sean O’Connor of Hightstown Borough and Steven Uccio of East Windsor Twp.