New Jersey brothers set to govern neighboring towns in 2024

  • John Giovannitti, 61, and his younger brother Vince Giovannitti, 57, are set to become mayors of neighboring towns in New Jersey.
  • John will be sworn in as the mayor of Paulsboro on Jan. 2, while Vince, newly reelected, will begin his second term as the mayor of Gibbstown on the following day.
  • The brothers, who are Democrats, expressed a strong commitment to their towns and their interconnected community.

Two neighboring New Jersey towns may feel even closer next year when they’re governed by two brothers.

John Giovannitti, 61, will be sworn in Jan. 2 as mayor of Paulsboro, one day before newly-reelected younger brother Vince Giovannitti, 57, is sworn in to a second term as mayor of Gibbstown.

Paulsboro, with a population of 6,300, stretches from Route 130 to the Delaware River, across from Philadelphia International Airport. Gibbstown, with just under 4,000 people in Greenwich Township, is connected to its larger neighbor through the main corridor, Broad Street.

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The Paulsboro brothers describe becoming mayors as a “happy coincidence” but also a natural next step after decades serving their communities. They told The Philadelphia Inquirer that being siblings aids the necessary collaboration of mayors of neighboring towns that share certain services.

John Giovannitti, left, mayor-elect of Paulsboro, and brother Vince Giovannitti, mayor of Greenwich Township, stand together for a portrait outside of the Greenwich Township Municipal Building in Gibbstown, N.J., on Dec. 12, 2023. (Heather Khalifa/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

“We can say things to one another,” Vince said, acknowledging that he might be more reserved in dealings with someone else. John says constantly seeing each other at family functions also helps.

Gibbstown and Paulsboro, described by John as “classic American small towns,” have families and church and civic groups that span municipal lines. Vince calls them “really one big community” and John adds that he does not know if there are many other communities that are “so intermingled.”

The brothers, both Democrats, said they have never lived anywhere else.

“The roots are deep … ” Vince said. “Your friends are here; your family is here.”

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The Gibbstown mayor’s salary is $12,314 with a three-year term. Paulsboro’s mayor has a four-year term and is paid between $7,000 and $9,100. John also works as Paulsboro High School’s assistant principal and athletic director and Vince was a special-education teacher and guidance counselor in the district before retiring in 2021.

Asked to describe each other, John depicts Vince as thorough and organized and looking at “the big picture for his community.” Vince says his older brother is committed to Paulsboro, and he says he’s happy for him but “also happy for the residents.”

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