Linda R. Greenstein

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Linda R. Greenstein
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 14th Legislative District
Assumed office
December 6, 2010
Preceded by Tom Goodwin
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 14th Legislative District
In office
January 11, 2000 – December 6, 2010
Preceded by Paul Kramer
Barbara Wright
Succeeded by Daniel R. Benson
Personal details
Born (1950-06-07) June 7, 1950 (age 68)
Brooklyn, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michael Greenstein (d. 2017)
Children one
Residence Plainsboro Township, New Jersey
Alma mater A.B. Vassar College (Psychology)
M.A. Johns Hopkins University (Psychology)
J.D. Georgetown University Law Center
Occupation Legislator
Website Legislative web page

Linda R. Greenstein (born June 7, 1950 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American Democratic Party politician who represents the 14th legislative district in the New Jersey Senate. She is the first woman to hold the Mercer-Middlesex regional State Senate district since Anne Clark Martindell, who filled the seat from 1974 to 1977.[1] She previously served in the General Assembly from 2000 to 2010.


Greenstein was born in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. She received an A.B. from Vassar College in Psychology in 1971, an M.A. in 1974 from Johns Hopkins University and was awarded a J.D. in 1984 from the Georgetown University Law Center.[2]

She was a Clinical Associate Professor at the Seton Hall University School of Law, where she supervised the Disability Law Clinic. She has served as a Deputy Attorney General in Trenton and as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia. She is a resident of Plainsboro Township, and had one son Evan, with her husband Michael Greenstein.[3][4] Michael Greenstein died on November 1, 2017.[5]

Greenstein was an early supporter of Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Greenstein endorsed Obama prior to the 2008 Iowa caucus.[6]

Political career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Greenstein served on the Plainsboro Township Committee from 1995 to 2000 and on the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District's Board of Education from 1992 to 1994.[2] Prior to her election to the General Assembly, she was a Senior Staff Attorney at the Community Health Law Project and supervised the Public Interest Legal Clinic at Montclair State University.[citation needed]

Legislative career[edit]

In the 1999 Assembly election, Republican incumbents Paul Kramer and Barbara Wright were narrowly defeated by Democrats Greenstein and Gary Guear, with the incumbents losing votes in Hamilton Township, where Democrat Glen Gilmore won the race for mayor. The two gains were among the three Republicans seats Democrats picked up in the Assembly in the 1999 elections, though the Republicans retained their majority.[7]

She served in the Assembly for five terms from 2000 through 2010. She was the Assembly's Assistant Majority Leader from 2002, and the Deputy Speaker from 2006. Greenstein served in the Assembly on the Judiciary Committee (as Chair) and the Health and Senior Services Committee.[citation needed] Greenstein was reelected in 2007 while participating in the New Jersey Clean Elections public funding program.[citation needed] During this campaign, Greenstein faced radio attack ads from a national third-party conservative group with ties to President George W. Bush.[8]

In the 2010 special Senate election to fill the remainder of Bill Baroni's term, Greenstein ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. She defeated appointed incumbent Senator Tom Goodwin, one of her opponents from the 2009 Assembly race.[9] In 2011, Greenstein was re-elected over challenger Richard Kanka, father of murder victim Megan Kanka and driver behind Megan's Law.[10]

In 2013, Greenstein faced former State Senator Peter Inverso, who represented the district from 1992 to 2008. Greenstein was re-elected to a second full term by 1,484 votes, the closest Senate margin in New Jersey that year.[11]

In 2017, her opponent was Hamilton Township Councilwoman Ileana Schirmer.[12] Greenstein defeated Schirmer 56.3% to 43.7%.[13]

2014 Congressional election[edit]

In 2014, 12th congressional district Representative Rush D. Holt, Jr. announced his retirement from Congress. Greenstein announced that she would seek the Democratic nomination for the seat the same day of Holt's announcement.[14]

Of the four counties in the district, she only received the county committee endorsement from her home county of Middlesex.[15]

After Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman received the Mercer County endorsement on March 22, Greenstein was recorded telling local county Democratic leaders, "I hate everybody in here. Everybody in here is my enemy – except for the people from Hamilton. The rest of you are my enemies." Her campaign responded with a statement saying, "This thinly veiled attempt at intimidation from unnamed party bosses unfortunately reeks of the kind of sexism successful women have had to contend with throughout history." Mercer County Democratic Party chairwoman Elizabeth Maher Muoio refuted this claim, saying "Clearly, the results were not what she had hoped for, but to blame them on sexism or on a closed process is deceptive, untrue and insulting."[16]

In the Democratic primary held on June 3, Watson Coleman defeated Greenstein, Assemblyman Upendra J. Chivukula and scientist Andrew Zwicker.[17]

Legislation sponsored[edit]

Senior-related legislation[edit]

In 2008, Greenstein co-sponsored A1264, legislation requiring public disclosure of medical error rates at individual hospitals across the state.[citation needed] Greenstein also co-sponsored A3371, a bill designed to protect all hospital patients and their insurance companies from being charged for a hospital's preventable medical mistake.[18]

Greenstein also sponsored a bill in 2008 that would require all assisted living facilities to dedicate 10% of their beds to people eligible for Medicaid coverage and 5% to people currently using Medicaid.[19]

In February 2008, Greenstein introduced legislation designed to protect the elderly from insurance salesmen who push buyers into making unnecessary purchases, especially with annuities.[20]

Family-related legislation[edit]

As chair of the Judiciary Committee, Greenstein was the prime sponsor of bill A-571, the Prevention of Domestic Violent Act. The bill called for harsher criminal punishment and longer jail time for those who impair their domestic partner's means of communicating with the outside world for purposes of control and abuse.[citation needed]

Greenstein sponsored the Jessica Rogers Law, a bill created to provide for harsher penalties for assaults caused by road rage.[21]

In 2009, Greenstein introduced a package of 10 bills in the state Legislature that would increase penalties for communicating online with minors in sexually explicit ways as well as allow wiretapping in investigations concerning crimes against children.[22]

Greenstein co-sponsored the Toxic-Free Children's Products Act in the spring of 2008, which would ban the sale, distribution and manufacturing of toys and children's products containing Bisphenol A or phthalates. These two chemicals are linked to hormonal diseases.[23]

In March 2008, Greenstein was one of the chief sponsors of a bill that would allow workers to take up to six weeks paid leave for a new child or a sick relative.[24] Greenstein's bill received bipartisan support as her Hamilton district's Republican State Senator, Bill Baroni, voted in favor of the Senate version of the bill in April 2008.[25]

Greenstein is the author of New Jersey's anti-telemarketing law.[citation needed]

Miscellaneous legislation[edit]

Greenstein sponsored a bill in fall 2008 that gave local governments more authority over traffic controls on their roads.[26]

In spring 2009, Greenstein also sponsored bill A1904, a "good government bill" that would bring transparency to county politics[according to whom?] and allow non-establishment primary candidates to campaign on a more level playing field.[27]

District 14[edit]

Each of the forty districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one representative in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly. The other representatives from the 14th District for the 2016-2017 (217th) Legislative Session are:[28]

Election history[edit]

2014 Democratic Primary - United States House of Representatives 12th District[29]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bonnie Watson Coleman 15,603 43.0
Democratic Linda Greenstein 10,089 27.8
Democratic Upendra J. Chivukula 7,890 21.8
Democratic Andrew Zwicker 2,668 7.4
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2013[30]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Linda R. Greenstein (incumbent) 31,387 50.4
Republican Peter A. Inverso 29,903 48.0
Libertarian Don Dezarn 1,014 1.6
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011[31]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Linda R. Greenstein (incumbent) 26,206 55.3
Republican Richard J. Kanka 21,176 44.7
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate Special elections, 2010[32]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Linda R. Greenstein 36,411 53.8
Republican Tom Goodwin (incumbent) 31,311 46.2
Democratic gain from Republican


  1. ^ "Linda Greenstein tops Tom Goodwin; 1st woman to hold NJ's Mercer-Middlesex 14th Legislative District seat". The Trentonian. 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  2. ^ a b Senator Greenstein's legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 21, 2008.
  3. ^ Assembly Member Linda R. Greenstein, Project Vote Smart. Accessed August 10, 2007.
  4. ^ Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey - Two Hundred and Eleventh Legislature (First Session) (PDF). Skinder-Strauss Associates. 2004. pp. 264–265. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  5. ^ Alfaro, Alyana (November 1, 2017). "Michael Greenstein, Husband of State Senator, Passes Away". Observer. Retrieved November 12, 2017. 
  6. ^ Malwitz, Rich. "Local Politicians embraced Obama early on". (January 30, 2008). Asbury Park Press, p. 20
  7. ^ Peterson, Iver. "On Politics; Making Headway, Democrats Look Toward Two Big Ones", The New York Times, November 7, 1999. Accessed June 8, 2010.
  8. ^ Our View. "Scrapped for now". (September 11, 2008). The Press of Atlantic City, p. 36
  9. ^ Duffy, Erin (December 7, 2010). "Leaving Assembly, Plainsboro's Greenstein is sworn into state Senate". The Times of Trenton. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  10. ^ DeMarco, Megan (November 8, 2011). "Greenstein fends off challenge from Kanka in N.J. District 14 election". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  11. ^ Davis, Mike (November 14, 2013). "Former Sen. Peter Inverso won't seek recount in 14th District election loss to Sen. Linda Greenstein". The Times. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  12. ^ "In Swing NJ 14th, Linda Greenstein Faces Top GOP Recruit Ileana Schirmer". March 9, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Unofficial List Candidates for State Senate For GENERAL ELECTION 11/07/2017 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. November 8, 2017. p. 14. Retrieved November 12, 2017. 
  14. ^ Isherwood, Darryl (February 18, 2014). "State Sen. Linda Greenstein will seek Congressional seat". Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  15. ^ Nurin, Tara (May 30, 2014). "Four Jostle for Position in NJ's Most-Watched Congressional Primary". NJ Spotlight. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  16. ^ Nuzzi, Olivia (May 15, 2014). "New Jersey Democrat's Epic Freakout". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 9, 2017. 
  17. ^ Johnson, Brent (June 3, 2014). "12th congressional district: Watson Coleman beats Greenstein for Democratic nod". NJ Advance Media. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  18. ^ Larson, Sy. "One Reader's View: Protect all from medical mistakes". (November 10, 2008). The Philadelphia Inquirer, p. 47
  19. ^ Harper, Derek. "State bill targets assisted living Medicaid compliance". (June 21, 2008). The Press of Atlantic City, p. 45
  20. ^ Baldwin, Tom. "Lawmakers and AARP aim to protect seniors from wrong financial plans". (February 15, 2008). Asbury Park Press p. 102
  21. ^ Jack Knarr (2008-11-14). ""Jessica Rogers Law" rages toward finish". The Trentonian. Journal Register Company. Archived from the original on 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  22. ^ Editorial. "Strengthen laws or online predators". (March 1, 2009). "The Courier-Post", p. 134
  23. ^ Delli Santi, Angela. "Lawmaker seeks ban on chemicals in toys". (April 9, 2008). Burlington County Times, p. 74
  24. ^ staff & wire. "Family leave a step closer". (March 14, 2009). "The Trentonian", p. 38
  25. ^ staff & wire. "Paid leave clears Senate". (April 8, 2008). The Trentonian, p. 16
  26. ^ Tracy, Ryan. "Towns get more power on roads". (December 8, 2008). "The Times of Trenton", p. 19
  27. ^ Amick, George. "Trying to restore order to N.J. chaos". (March 9, 2009). The Times of Trenton, p. 60
  28. ^ "Legislative Roster 2016-2017 Session". New Jersey Legislature. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  29. ^ "Official List Candidates for House of Representatives For PRIMARY ELECTION 06/03/2014 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. August 6, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  30. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For General Election 11/05/2013 Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 4, 2013. Accessed December 31, 2014.
  31. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2011 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 14, 2011. Accessed June 22, 2012.
  32. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-20. Retrieved 2011-12-12.  "New Jersey Senate, (retrieved on 12/12/11).

External links[edit]

New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
Tom Goodwin
New Jersey State Senator - District 14
December 6, 2010 - present
Succeeded by
New Jersey General Assembly
Preceded by
Paul Kramer
Barbara Wright
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly for the 14th District
January 11, 2000 – December 6, 2010
With: Gary Guear, Bill Baroni, Wayne DeAngelo
Succeeded by
Daniel R. Benson