Kim Guadagno: We Can Create A Better NJ

Lt. Governor Launches Campaign For New Jersey Governor At Keansburg Restaurant She Helped Reopen After Hurricane Sandy

Keansburg, NJ – Promising a relentless campaign to create a better, more affordable state for families and businesses, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno formally announced her candidacy for New Jersey governor during an event at La Playa Restaurant in Keansburg.

"I’m proud of my record as lieutenant governor of cutting government red tape and helping businesses stay and grow in New Jersey," said Lt. Governor Guadagno. "But we can and must do better. That’s why today I’m announcing that I’m a candidate for Governor of the State of New Jersey."

Guadagno was introduced by La Playa owner Leo Cervantes, whose restaurant was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Facing mountains of paperwork and months of delays in reopening his restaurant, Cervantes called Lt. Governor Guadagno's cell phone to ask for help cutting through the government red tape. Guadagno, who often gives out her cell phone number at events, made a few calls to help Cervantes complete the paperwork needed to receive a Small Business loan to reopen his restaurant.

"As lieutenant governor, I haven’t used my cell phone to take calls from power brokers looking for a favor," Guadagno said. "Instead, I’ve been focused on doing my job to help the people of New Jersey solve real problems and make government work for them."

Guadagno added, "We need a Governor who has a record of getting her job done and who’ll fight the Democrats’ knee-jerk reaction to raise your taxes. Our state government has to do what families across New Jersey have to do when money is tight: cut out the luxury items, cut up the credit cards and stick to the basics. We simply don’t have the money to turn the State House into the Palace of Versailles."

As New Jersey's first Lt. Governor, Guadagno has led efforts to cut government red tape, recruit new businesses to New Jersey and help existing businesses stay and grow. Guadagno eliminated 4000 pages of unnecessary regulations as head of the Red Tape Review Commission and established a nonprofit called Choose New Jersey to help recruit businesses to the Garden State. Guadagno also serves as Secretary of State, where she is in charge of promoting the state's $40 billion tourism industry and overseeing New Jersey’s long-term growth plan for military bases and U.S. Coast Guard installations.

Before Guadagno was elected New Jersey's first Lt. Governor in 2009, she was a practicing attorney and prosecutor with a reputation of busting corrupt politicians. In 1988, Guadagno joined the elite United States Organized Crime Strike Force started by former U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy to root out organized crime and illegal racketeering. She later rose to the position of an assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey in Newark, where she was awarded the United States Department of Justice's highest honor for her prosecutions of two separate corrupt public officials.

From 1999 to 2001, Guadagno served as assistant attorney general for the State of New Jersey responsible for statewide criminal investigations and oversight of 300 prosecutors and investigators. In 2005, she was elected as a commissioner in the Borough of Monmouth Beach. In 2007, Guadagno became the first woman elected sheriff in Monmouth County’s history, and led the 650-member, $65 million law enforcement agency.

Guadagno met her husband, Mike, while working at the United States Organized Crime Strike Force on Brooklyn and they married and moved to Monmouth County in 1991. Mike served as the chief of the fraud division in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark. He was appointed by Governor Codey to the Superior Court in 2005, where he served 8 years in the Family Section, and is now serving in the Appellate Division.

Their three sons – Kevin, Michael and Anderson – all attended school in Monmouth County. Guadagno's oldest son, Kevin, is a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force having graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2015. He is presently training to be a fighter pilot at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma. Her second son, Michael, is a junior at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and her youngest son, Anderson, is a sophomore in high school.

For more information on Guadagno, visit KimForNJ.com.