Lt Gov Kim Guadagno promising reform hopes to succeed Christie

Todd Evans

                                                                                    Courtesy of Kim Guadagno campaign

New Jersey’s first Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno pushes to become its second female governor this November touting fiscal and administrative change.

Guadagno defeated 16th Legislative District Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli by more than 37,000 votes in June’s primary to become the Republican Party’s nominee.

“As governor … I will lead with a heart and value of someone who has walked in the shoes of a blue collar family,” said Guadagno. “Who knows what it’s like to lose a job. Who knows what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck.”

To increase efficiency the lieutenant governor is proposing an audit of the entire state government’s operations, finances and programs. Included in this audit would be New Jersey’s 586 public school districts to research how funds are allocated.

An issue that affects all residents but particularly recent college graduates is the state’s high levels of taxation especially in property taxes. This may have contributed to the more than 100 thousand people aged 18 to 34 who left New Jersey from 2007 to 2014 an American Community Survey found.

Guadagno plans to decrease taxes in part with a scheme that would cap the portion of property taxes that fund public school districts to 5 percent of a household’s income. The difference in school funding would be made up by state aid.

Some worry the state government would not be able to provide the funding difference for school districts given decreasing funding to the state’s public universities and colleges in the past decade.

As Gov. Chris Christie’s lieutenant governor these past 8 years the Iowa native had to weather the storm created by the 2013 Fort Lee lane closure scandal that sent Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly and Port Authority Executive Director Bill Baroni to prison.

Possibly due to this corruption the former prosecutor supports changing the New Jersey Attorney General from a governor appointed office to a statewide elected one. This would give more independence to the attorney general to investigate and prosecute corruption with less conflicts of interest.

New Jersey is one of seven states where the attorney general is not elected by the residents.

The Monmouth Beach resident is endorsed by nationally known governors Christie, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

“I am personally endorsing Kim because she will focus on reducing taxes and creating jobs as governor,” said Patti Page, Morris County republican committee chair. “I also like that Kim Guadagno wants to reform the school funding formula and audit Trenton to save taxpayers money. That’s the kind of leadership we need in our next governor to make New Jersey better.”

In addition Guadagno has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey and the New Jersey chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors.

Prior to her tenure as lieutenant governor the 58-year-old candidate served as Monmouth County Sheriff for two years from 2008 to 2010 and before that on the Monmouth Beach Board of Commissioners.

Guadagno’s running mate is Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo, who is a Cuban immigrant, and lawyer in private practice.

“Kim’s vision for New Jersey is my vision for New Jersey, and I know that together, we will work tirelessly to ensure our state is once again an affordable, prosperous place where families can thrive,” said Rendo.