Randy Bishop Makes Moves In The New Year

Gay Man To Become NJ Mayor

New Jersey’s getting some gay history for the New Year. Neptune Township Committeeman Randy Bishop’s set to become the Garden State’s third openly gay mayor.

Bishop, who will be sworn in at noon Tuesday for his second three-year term on the committee, is also expected later in the afternoon to be picked as mayor for 2008. When that happens, Bishop will be one of two openly gay mayors serving this year in New Jersey, and one of only three in the state’s history.

The list of openly gay mayors in New Jersey is short: Democrat Gina Genovese became the state’s first openly gay mayor in 2005 when she was chosen for the position by the Republican majority on the Long Hill Township Committee. She no longer holds the office.

As in Long Hill, Neptune’s mayor is chosen by the Township Committee.

In November, Tim Eustace, a 10-year member of the Maywood Borough Council, became the state’s first openly gay mayor elected by popular vote.

Current Neptune Mayor James Manning Jr., who also won re-election this year, said Bishop does not follow a “gay agenda” in his policy decisions.

“Randy approaches everything as a caring “person,'” Manning wrote in an e-mail. “His lifestyle has nothing to do with him leading the township.”

Well, isn’t that refreshing?