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, having been first elected to the Senate when she defeated Republican candidate Tom Goodwin in a November 2010 special election to complete the Senate term of Bill Baroni, who resigned to take the position of Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.[1] She is the first woman to hold the Mercer-Middlesex regional State Senate district.[2] She previously served in the General Assembly from 2000 to 2010. On October 8 2016 she voted to raise the NJ gas tax .23 per gallon.


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.[3]

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 with her husband Michael Greenstein and son Evan.[4][5]

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

Political career

Early career

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.[3] Previous 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.

Legislative career

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 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.[3]

She served in the Assembly with Guear for two terms from 2000 through 2004, Republican Bill Baroni from 2004 through 2008, and Democrat Wayne DeAngelo from 2008 until her election to the Senate. Greenstein was reelected in 2007 while participating in the New Jersey Clean Elections public funding program. During this campaign, Greenstein overcame 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 faced appointed incumbent Senator Tom Goodwin, one of her opponents from the 2009 Assembly race. Greenstein received endorsements from environmental groups, labor unions, and women's activists.[9] She defeated Goodwin by 8 points and was sworn into the Senate just after the election results were certified.[10] In the 2011 election with a slightly reconfigured 14th district due to decennial redistricting, Greenstein defeated Richard Kanka, father of murder victim Megan Kanka and driver behind Megan's Law, by 8 points.[11] For her 2013 reelection campaign, Greenstein faced former 14th district Senator Peter Inverso and defeated him by two percent, the closest Senate race in the state that year.[12]

2014 Congressional election

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.[13] Of the four counties in the district, she only received the county committee endorsement from her home county of Middlesex.[14] In the Democratic primary held on June 3, Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman defeated Greenstein who came in second place, and was ahead of Assemblyman Upendra J. Chivukula and scientist Andrew Zwicker.[15]

Legislation sponsored

Senior-related legislation

In 2008, Greenstein co-sponsored A1264, legislation requiring public disclosure of medical error rates at individual hospitals across the state. The AARP supported Greenstein's legislation, which will provide consumers with important health-care information and increase accountability and transparency in state health care.[16]

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.[17]

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.[18]

In February 2008, Greenstein introduced legislation designed to protect the elderly from insurance salesmen who push buyers into making unnecessary purchases, especially with annuities.[19]

Family-related legislation

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 partners means of communicating with the outside world for purposes of control and abuse.[20]

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

Greenstein stated her support for Ricci's Law, a bill that would require convicted drunk drivers to install alcohol ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. The bill is supported by MADD.[22]

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.[23] Greenstein has also demanded that any offender already registered under Megan's Law register all of their email usernames and passwords with the state.[24]

Greenstein cosponsored 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.[25]

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.[26] 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.[27]

Greenstein also stated that she would like to move forward with legislation that would enable law enforcement to carry stun guns with the goal of increasing the safety of local police.[28]

Greenstein is the author of New Jersey’s anti-telemarketing law, and has called for a State Constitutional Convention for property tax reform.

Environmental legislation

In June 2008, Greenstein stated her support for the “Go Big On Wind Initiative.” This initiative, supported by Linda Greenstein and Environment New Jersey, a nonprofit group, advocates offshore wind farms off the coast of Atlantic City.[29]

Greenstein was also the prime sponsor of several pieces of legislation providing funding for open space preservation and is a founder and co-chair of the Legislative Smart Growth Caucus, which is promoting an anti-sprawl agenda.

Greenstein has also advocated for a bottle and can deposit program that would increase state funding for environmental protection and encourage more recycling by consumers.[30]

Miscellaneous legislation

Greenstein sponsored a bill in fall 2008 that gave local governments more authority over traffic controls on their roads.[31]

Greenstein has advocated for reforms to reduce the influence of campaign contributions on the state’s political system. As recently as April 2009, Greenstein has stated her hope to introduce an ethics reform bill in the State Assembly, which would significantly alter current pay-to-play loophole.[32]

In spring 2009, Greenstein also sponsored bill A1904, a “good government bill” that would bring transparency to county politics and allow non-establishment primary candidates to campaign on a more level playing field.[33]

Greenstein hailed the creation of the position of Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, saying that it will “help shatter New Jersey’s glass ceiling.”[34]

District 14

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:[35]

Election history

2014 Democratic Primary - United States House of Representatives 12th District[36]
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[37]
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[38]
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[39]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Linda R. Greenstein 36,411 53.8
Republican Tom Goodwin (incumbent) 31,311 46.2
Democratic gain from Republican


  1. ^ "Hamilton councilman wins N.J. Senate seat vacated by Bill Baroni". The Times of Trenton. 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ a b c Senator Greenstein's legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 21, 2008.
  4. ^ Assembly Member Linda R. Greenstein, Project Vote Smart. Accessed August 10, 2007.
  5. ^ 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. 
  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. ^ Abdur-Rahman, Sulaiman (October 24, 2010). "GOP Sen. Tom Goodwin, Democrat challenger Linda Greenstein pile up NJ Senate endorsements as Election Day 2010 nears". The Trentonian. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  10. ^ Duffy, Erin (December 7, 2010). "Leaving Assembly, Plainsboro's Greenstein is sworn into state Senate". The Times of Trenton. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  11. ^ DeMarco, Megan (November 8, 2011). "Greenstein fends off challenge from Kanka in N.J. District 14 election". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ Isherwood, Darryl (February 18, 2014). "State Sen. Linda Greenstein will seek Congressional seat". Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  14. ^ Nurin, Tara (May 30, 2014). "Four Jostle for Position in NJ's Most-Watched Congressional Primary". NJ Spotlight. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  15. ^ Johnson, Brent (June 3, 2014). "12th congressional district: Watson Coleman beats Greenstein for Democratic nod". NJ Advance Media. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  16. ^ Linda Greenstein & Sy Larson (August 7, 2008). "Past time to prevent preventable medical errors.". The Times (Trenton). The Times of Trenton Publishing. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  17. ^ Larson, Sy. "One Reader's View: Protect all from medical mistakes". (November 10, 2008). The Philadelphia Inquirer, p. 47
  18. ^ Harper, Derek. "State bill targets assisted living Medicaid compliance". (June 21, 2008). The Press of Atlantic City, p. 45
  19. ^ Baldwin, Tom. "Lawmakers and AARP aim to protect seniors from wrong financial plans". (February 15, 2008). Asbury Park Press p. 102
  20. ^ Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman (2008-09-27). "Lawmakers: Domestic Abuse Bill "Cowardly"". The Trentonian. Journal Register Company. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  21. ^ Jack Knarr (2008-11-14). ""Jessica Rogers Law" rages toward finish". The Trentonian. Journal Register Company. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  22. ^ Racz, Gene. "Lawmakers, MADD push for alcohol ignition locks". (July 26, 2008). "The Courier-News", p. 38
  23. ^ Editorial. "Strengthen laws or online predators". (March 1, 2009). "The Courier-Post", p. 134
  24. ^ Delli Santi, Angela. "Lawmaker wants e-mail registration for sex offenders". (September 8, 2008). "Asbury Park Press", p. 31
  25. ^ Delli Santi, Angela. "Lawmaker seeks ban on chemicals in toys". (April 9, 2008). Burlington County Times, p. 74
  26. ^ staff & wire. "Family leave a step closer". (March 14, 2009). "The Trentonian", p. 38
  27. ^ staff & wire. "Paid leave clears Senate". (April 8, 2008). The Trentonian, p. 16
  28. ^ Rick Murray (May 2, 2008). "State AG eyeballs stun guns for cops; conference May 7 in Lawrenceville". The Trentonian. Journal Register Company. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  29. ^ Garlic, Tiffani. "Environmental group backs offshore wind farms". (June 18, 2008). The Press of Atlantic City, p. 74
  30. ^ via Associated Press. "N.J. considers boosting budget with beverages". (May 10, 2008). The Press of Atlantic City, p. 2
  31. ^ Tracy, Ryan. "Towns get more power on roads". (December 8, 2008). "The Times of Trenton", p. 19
  32. ^ Heininger, Claire. “’Pay-to-play’ cash keeps on flowing despite economy”. (April 4, 2009). The Star-Ledger, p. 29
  33. ^ Amick, George. “Trying to restore order to N.J. chaos”. (March 9, 2009). The Times of Trenton, p. 60
  34. ^ Staff. "N.J. women, minorities stand to gain from new Lt. Gov position", Home News Tribune, October 26, 2007. Accessed June 22, 2012. "Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein, D-Middlesex, has hailed the new lieutenant governor position as one that 'will help shatter New Jersey's glass ceiling. '"
  35. ^ "Legislative Roster 2016-2017 Session". New Jersey Legislature. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  36. ^ "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. 
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2011 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 14, 2011. Accessed June 22, 2012.
  39. ^ [1] "New Jersey Senate, (retrieved on 12/12/11).

External links

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