Kim Guadagno

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Kimberly "Kim" Guadagno
Kim Guadagno.jpg
Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey
New Jersey Secretary of State
In office
January 19, 2010 - Present
Years in position 5
PredecessorNina Mitchell Wells (D)
Base salary$141,000
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 3, 2009
Term limitsNone
Prior offices
Monmouth County Sheriff
2007 - 2010
Monmouth Beach Borough Commissioner
Bachelor'sUrsinus College (1980)
J.D.American University Washington College of Law (1983)
Date of birthApril 13, 1959
Place of birthWaterloo, Iowa
Office website
Kimberly Ann Guadagno (born April 13, 1959, in Waterloo, Iowa), a Republican, currently serves as the 1st Lieutenant Governor and the 33rd Secretary of State of New Jersey. She has served in this dual role since January 19, 2010.

Guadagno and Chris Christie teamed up again for re-election in 2013 and defeated challengers Barbara Buono and Milly Silva on November 5, 2013.[1][2]

Guadagno's role as lieutenant governor includes overseeing the New Jersey Partnership for Action, the comprehensive economic development strategy. In her capacity as secretary of state, Guadagno is the state's chief election official, and manages New Jersey's $38 billion tourism industry, among other responsibilities.



  • Bachelor's degree, Ursinus College (1980)
  • Juris Doctorate degree, American University's Washington College of Law (1983)

Early career

After law school, Guadagno began work as a federal prosecutor with the Organized Crime and Racketeering Strike Force in Brooklyn, New York. After moving to New Jersey following her marriage in 1991, Guadagno served as deputy chief of the corruption unit for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey from 1990 to 1998, handling such high-profile prosecutions as those against former Essex County Executive Thomas D'Alessio (D) and Somerset County Prosecutor Nicholas Bissell (R). She then became deputy director in the Division of Criminal Justice, where she supervised the prosecution of the creator of the "Melissa" computer worm, David L. Smith, until 2000. In 2001, Guadagno left the public sector to practice law closer to home. She also began teaching law at Rutgers University School of Law - Newark.[3]

Public service

For two years beginning in 2005, she was one of three individuals elected a Borough Commissioners of Monmouth Beach. In 2007, she became the first woman elected as sheriff of Monmouth County, responsible for a staff of over 700 state employees and a $65 million budget.[4]

Honors and awards

Guadago has received two Director's Awards from the United States Department of Justice, a Special Achievement Award from the U.S. Attorney's Office, and honorary doctorates from NJIT and Wayne Patterson University.[4]

Political career

Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State (2009-Present)

Guadango serves concurrently as the Garden State's lieutenant governor and secretary of state. She was first elected in 2009 as Gov. Chris Christie's running mate.

Creation of lieutenant governor's office

The position of lieutenant governor was created as the result of a constitutional amendment to the New Jersey State Constitution passed by the voters on November 8, 2005. In New Jersey, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected on a single ticket in the general election. Following the primary elections, gubernatorial candidates have 30 days to select a running mate. Guadagno was selected by Gov. Chris Christie to be his running mate for the 2009 campaign, the first in the state's history to include voting for a lieutenant governor.[5] Following the election, Christie appointed Guadagno to the position of secretary of state as well, combining the duties of both offices.[6]

Monmouth County Sheriff (2007-2010)

In 2007, Guadagno became the first woman elected as sheriff in Monmouth County history.

Pension controversy

Guadagno reportedly made false statements in September 2008 that enabled a police official to improperly obtain $170,000 from a state pension fund, according to New Jersey Watchdog. Guadagno, Monmouth County Sheriff at the time, had hired Michael W. Donovan Jr., a retired investigator for the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, as her new chief, announcing in a memo to her staff that he would be replacing John Cerrato. Under state law, Donovan should have stopped receiving retirement benefits as a result of his employment and been re-enrolled in the Police and Firemen's Retirement System. However, Guadagno had placed him as Chief Warrant Officer, a position that is exempt from PFRS and the rules/regulations that apply to it. Those statements were deemed false since the position of Chief Warrant Officer had been eliminated by an order signed by Guadagno on Sept. 16, 2008 – the week before Donovan started.[7][8]



See also: New Jersey gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2013

On December 4, 2012, Gov. Christie's campaign confirmed Guadagno's bid to join Christie on the joint gubernatorial/lieutenant gubernatorial ticket in the 2013 election.[2] The general election took place on November 5, 2013, following a statewide primary on June 4, 2013. Christie and Guadagno easily won the election, winning 60.5 percent of the vote.[1]


General election

On November 5, 2013, Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno (R) won re-election as Governor and Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey. They defeated the Buono/Silva (D), Kaplan/Bell (L), Welzer/Alessandrini (I), Sare/Todd (I), Araujo/Salamanca (I), Schroeder/Moschella (I) and Boss/Thorne (I) ticket(s) in the general election.

Governor and Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngChris Christie & Kim Guadagno 60.3% 1,278,932
     Democratic Barbara Buono & Milly Silva 38.2% 809,978
     Libertarian Kenneth Kaplan & Brenda Bell 0.6% 12,155
     Independent Steven Welzer & Patricia Alessandrini 0.4% 8,295
     Independent Diane Sare & Bruce Todd 0.2% 3,360
     Independent William Araujo & Maria Salamanca 0.2% 3,300
     Independent Hank Schroeder & Patricia Moschella 0.1% 2,784
     Independent Jeff Boss & Robert Thorne 0.1% 2,062
Total Votes 2,120,866
Election Results Via: New Jersey Department of State

Race background

Election rating

In November 2012, the New Jersey gubernatorial election was rated by the Washington Post as one of the top five races to watch in 2013.[9] Christie's high-wattage presence notwithstanding, the contest never rose to the level of excitement originally anticipated. This was due in part to the decision of former Newark Mayor Cory Booker to run for U.S. Senate rather than attempt to oust Christie in 2013. Booker had long been considered the Democratic front-runner and best hope to take on the juggernaut incumbent, until announcing his — ultimately successful — Senate bid, and leaving comparatively unknown Democrats on their own to face Christie, whose upward career trajectory and bipartisan appeal made him a formidable opponent in the election.[10]


Incumbent Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono each faced a single challenger in the primary election on June 4, although neither presented a substantial challenge at the polls; Christie and Buono won their respective party nominations with roughly 90 percent of the vote.[11][12]

Former Atlantic City Councilman Seth Grossman was the sole Republican to brave a run against the popular first-term governor, whose profile rose following the response to Hurricane Sandy. Grossman's campaign criticized Christie for being overly moderate, while Buono's opponent Troy Webster, advisor to the mayor of East Orange, believed he was uniquely suited to making New Jersey friendlier to "the working poor and middle class families who have been literally 'thrown under the bus.'" Grossman and Webster were endorsed by the weekly publication NJ Today.[13]

Selection of running mates

In New Jersey, gubernatorial candidates have 30 days to select a lieutenant gubernatorial running mate with whom to share their ticket in the general election. Immediately after launching his re-election campaign, Christie secured his running mate, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. Buono, meanwhile, waited until July 29 to formally announce her choice of union leader Milly Silva, the executive vice president of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, as her running mate.[14][15] The two-woman ticket went up against incumbent pairing Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno in addition to a number of third-party opponents in the general election contest that took place on November 5, 2013.


Christie was heavily favored to win re-election, with his campaign raising nearly double that of Buono's in the primary and maintaining a decisive double-digit advantage in the polls throughout the election season.[16][17] In the final week before the general election, Christie boasted a staggering 24.3-point average polling lead.[18] He also had bipartisan support, which was crucial in a state where Democrats outnumbered Republicans by over 700,000, according to party registration statistics provided by the New Jersey Department of State.[19]

Public financing

Since 1977, New Jersey gubernatorial primary and general election candidates can qualify for a public funding program whereby candidates who raise a minimum amount of money are dispensed tax-generated funds, controlled by the state election law enforcement commission, in direct proportion to campaign donations given from the public. In 2013, the qualifying sum for primary gubernatorial candidates was $380,000.[20] The purpose of the program is to lessen the influence of corporate contributions in elections. On February 2, 2013, then-presumptive Democratic nominee Barbara Buono's campaign reported that it had surpassed the $380,000 mark.[21] By that time, Christie's campaign had already raised $2 million. Unlike in 2009, Christie declined to use matching funds in the 2013 primary, but he decided in August to opt in to the program for the general election phase. Under the program, Christie became eligible for an additional $8 million, approximately. The terms also required him to participate in two debates with Buono before the general election.[21][22]


Guadagno first won election in 2009, running on a ticket with Chris Christie. The pair unseated incumbent governor Jon Corzine.[23]

Governor and Lt. Governor of New Jersey, 2009
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngChris Christie and Kim Guadagno 48.5% 1,174,445
     Democratic Jon Corzine and Loretta Weinberg Incumbent 44.9% 1,087,731
     Independent Christopher Daggett and Frank Esposito 5.8% 139,579
     Independent Kenneth Kaplan and John Paff 0.2% 4,830
     Independent Gary Steele and Theresa Nevins 0.1% 3,585
     Independent Jason Cullen and Gloria Leustek 0.1% 2,869
     Independent David Meiswinkle and Noelani Musicaro 0.1% 2,598
     Independent Kostas Petris and Kevin Davies 0.1% 2,563
     Independent Gregory Pason and Costantino Rozzo 0.1% 2,085
     Independent Gary Stein and Cynthia Stein 0.1% 1,625
     Independent Joshua Leinsdorf and Ubaldo Figliola 0% 1,021
     Independent Alvin Lindsay, Jr. and Eugene Harley 0% 753
     (None) Personal Choice 0% 108
Total Votes 2,423,792

Campaign contributions

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Kim Guadagno's donors each year.[24] Click [show] for more information.


Guadagno currently resides in Monmouth County with her husband Michael Guadagno, a judge on the Vicinage 9 Superior Court. They have three children.[4]

Recent news

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See also

Contact Information

New Jersey

Capitol Address:
Office of the Secretary
PO Box 300
Trenton, NJ 08625-0300

Phone: (609) 984-1900
Fax: (609) 292-7665

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 New York Times, Chris Christie Re-elected Governor of New Jersey, November 5, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 NJ Today, "Top Adviser Says Guadagno Will Repeat as Christie’s Running Mate," December 4, 2012
  3. Office of the New Jersey Governor, "Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State Kim Guadagno," accessed June 19, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 New Jersey Lieutenant Governor, "Lt. Governor Guadango," accessed February 29, 2012
  5. New Jersey Real Time News, "Chris Christie introduces Monmouth Sheriff Kim Guadagno as GOP lieutenant gov. candidate" 20 July, 2009
  6. New Jersey Real Time News, "N.J. Lieutenant Gov.-elect Guadagno to serve as secretary of state" 15 Dec. 2009
  7. "LT. GOV. GUADAGNO & THE $170K STATE PENSION SCAM," New Jersey Watchdog, November 17, 2010
  8., "N.J. officials launch investigation into possible double-dipping by sheriff's officers," May 3, 2011
  9. Washington Post, "The 5 best races of 2013," November 30, 2012
  10. Public Policy Polling, "Christie in trouble for re-election," July 20, 2011
  11. NJToday, "Primary election results," accessed June 5, 2013
  12., "Christie and Buono wrap yawner primary season," June 4, 2013
  13. NJ Today, "EDITORIAL: Troy Webster For Governor," April 14, 2013
  14., "Barbara Buono picks union leader Milly Silva as running mate," July 25, 2013
  15., "Buono announces Milly Silva as her lieutenant governor pick," July 29, 2013
  16. PolitickerNJ, "Christie and Buono wrap yawner primary season," June 4, 2013
  17. NJ News 12, "Poll: Christie remains popular in NJ," accessed April 15, 2013
  18. RealClearPolitics, "New Jersey Governor - Christie vs. Buono," accessed November 3, 2013
  19. New Jersey Department of State Elections Division, "Statewide Voter Registration Summary," May 7, 2013
  20., "Sen. Buono raises almost $250K in first month of campaigning," January 2, 2013
  21. 21.0 21.1 The Star-Ledger, "Buono qualifies for public matching funds in N.J. governor's race," February 4, 2013
  22., "Christie campaign participating in public financing program," August 20, 2013
  23. New Jersey Department of State, "Official tallies: Candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, November 3, 2009 - General election," accessed April 20, 2012
  24. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015

Political offices
Preceded by
Nina Mitchell Wells (D)
New Jersey Secretary of State
Succeeded by