Christie Picks Another Prosecutor As Running Mate

Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno joins the GOP ticket

New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie has picked a fellow former prosecutor — now a county sheriff — who is largely unknown to voters and untested in statewide politics as his running mate for the November election.

Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno got the news Sunday that Christie had chosen her for the No. 2 spot on the GOP ticket, beating out more seasoned politicians.

Like Christie, Guadagno, 50, is a former federal prosecutor.

Appearing with Christie in Asbury Park, Guadagno asked: "What do you think the politicians in Trenton are going to think when they see two former federal corruption prosecutors leading them?"

Elected Monmouth County's first female sheriff in 2007, Guadagno is a former assistant U.S. attorney and former assistant attorney general. She made a name for herself as a corruption fighter when she prosecuted a fellow Republican lawman, former Somerset County Prosecutor Nicholas Bissell, and Democrat Tom D'Alessio, a former Essex County sheriff.

"Kim has the experience that New Jerseyans need in their first lieutenant governor," Christie said in an Internet video released Monday morning. "But even more important, Kim has proven over her career that she has the ability to do the right thing day in and day out."

Guadagno currently runs a sheriff's office with 695 employees and a budget of $65 million. Her office oversees a 1,328 bed maximum-security correctional facility, a youth detention center and a police communications emergency dispatch center.

A mother of three who teaches at Rutgers Law School, Guadagno is married to Ocean County Superior Court Judge Michael Guadagno.

Christie praised Guadagno as like-minded on issues other than abortion (he is anti-abortion, she supports abortion rights) and said he was glad to put the process of picking a running mate behind him.

"I'm really, really excited to be standing here with Kim Guadagno," Christie said. "Candidly, I'm really excited to be done with this process. It is a very, very difficult process if you take it seriously."

This election is the first in which New Jersey's gubernatorial candidates will have running mates for the new position of lieutenant governor.

Gov. Jon Corzine, who has until next Monday to announce his running mate, told reporters at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford Monday that he'd announce his choice "within the next couple of days."

He praised Christie's pick for opening "the doors of opportunity" for women candidates seeking statewide office, but says his opponent is out of touch with New Jersey voters on issues like abortion rights, paid family leave and legislation to limit handgun purchases to one a month.

Christie, meanwhile, refused to comment on Randal Pinkett, a reality TV star and Rhodes scholar whom Corzine has been considering as his running mate.

Steven Some, chairman of the state chapter of GOPAC, a group that raises money, recruits and trains Republican candidates nationwide, called Guadagno "a proven vote-getter who greatly enhances (Christie's) numbers in Monmouth County, which has been trending Democrat over the last few cycles."

Christie leads Corzine by 6 to 12 points in early polls.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us