Kim Guadagno

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Kim Guadagno
Kim Guadagno 2011.jpg
1st Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey
Assumed office
January 19, 2010
Governor Chris Christie
Preceded by Position established
33rd Secretary of State of New Jersey
Assumed office
January 19, 2010
Governor Chris Christie
Preceded by Nina Wells
75th Sheriff of Monmouth County
In office
January 1, 2008 – January 19, 2010
Preceded by Joseph Oxley
Succeeded by Shaun Golden
Personal details
Born Kimberly Ann McFadden
(1959-04-13) April 13, 1959 (age 63)
Waterloo, Iowa, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Michael Guadagno
Alma mater Ursinus College
American University

Kimberly Ann "Kim" Guadagno (pronounced gwah-DAH-nyoh; born April 13, 1959)[1] is a Republican politician and the first Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, having won the 2009 and 2013 elections as the running mate of Governor Chris Christie.[2] She is concurrently the Secretary of State of New Jersey.

Early life and education

Kim Guadagno was born Kimberly Ann McFadden[3] in Waterloo, Iowa.[4][5] She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania in 1980, and a law degree in 1983 from the Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C.


Early legal work

Kim Guadagno is a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and the District of New Jersey. She was also Assistant New Jersey Attorney General. Serving as deputy chief of the U.S. Attorney's office's corruption unit from 1994–98, Guadagno was responsible for the corruption prosecutions of former Essex County Executive Thomas D'Alessio (a Democrat) and of Somerset County Prosecutor Nicholas Bissell (a Republican).[6] In 1994, in a case involving an executive of lottery contractor GTECH Corporation, the U.S. Attorney's Office was criticized by the judge overseeing the case for the disclosure of grand jury testimony in a sentencing report; the issue was never referred for further ethical or legal investigation.[7] The lottery executive went to jail.

She served as deputy director from 1998 to 2001 in the Division of Criminal Justice, where she supervised prosecutions of a $40 million financial fraud and of David L. Smith, creator of the "Melissa" computer worm.[6] She taught legal research and writing at Rutgers School of Law–Newark from 2003 until Nov. 2009. In 2005 Kim Guadagno was elected to Monmouth Beach's non-partisan governing body as one of its three Walsh Act commissioners.[6]

Monmouth County Sheriff

Elected the 75th sheriff of Monmouth County in 2007, succeeding Joseph Oxley, she became the first woman to serve in the post.

As Sheriff, Kim Guadagno pursued an aggressive agenda to fight crime, strengthen community outreach and enact innovative initiatives.[8] Sheriff Guadagno served as the chief executive and administrative officer of Monmouth County's largest law enforcement agency with nearly 700 employees who serve in the Law Enforcement Division, the 1,328- bed maximum security correctional institution, the youth detention center, the Civil Division and the Public Safety and 911 Emergency Dispatch Center. During her time as Sheriff the office received the Department of Defense Pro Patria Award which recognizes employers for their extraordinary support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.[9] Under her supervision, the office also received the “Six Star” simultaneous accreditation of the law enforcement division, the correctional facility, correctional healthcare and youth detention center from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office was the first out of 3,088 Sheriff’s Offices in the United States to receive the award.[10] The department was one of 11 accepted nationwide into the federal program established under Immigration and Nationality Act Section 287(g) which allowed corrections officers to check the immigration status of prisoners before they were released.[6]

Sheriff Guadagno also expanded “Project Lifesaver,” which uses bracelets with a radio-tracking device that allows Sheriff’s Officers to locate persons with Alzheimer’s or Autism who wander or become lost.[10] Furthermore, she held a county-wide Safety Fair to highlight the expansion of “Project Lifesaver” and to promote the multiple other programs offered to the community including “Reach for Your Dreams” an anti-drug, anti-gang program; “Safe CARGO” which specially trains and certifies sheriff’s officers to inspect and properly install child safety seats; and “Child ID Program” a child photo ID program that allows children and parents to carry identification in the event their child becomes lost. Finally, Sheriff Guadagno was the first Sheriff in New Jersey to institute a medical ID program to help ensure appropriate medical and law enforcement response to medically sensitive persons, such as children with special needs and encouraged autism training at the Police Academy.

Lieutenant Governor

On July 20, 2009, Republican gubernatorial nominee Christopher J. "Chris" Christie announced that Guadagno was his choice as running mate, in the first New Jersey election to include voting for a lieutenant governor. Guadagno was said to have been selected over a number of other Republican women, including State Senator Diane Allen and Bergen County Clerk Kathleen Donovan.[11] Guadagno was not a well known political figure statewide in October 2009. According to Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind Poll, Guadagno's name recognition in New Jersey was low with only 15% of voters reporting that they were aware of her. Out of the New Jersey voters that knew of Guadagno, 4% reported having a "very favorable" or "somewhat favorable" opinion while 3% reported that they had a "very unfavorable" or "somewhat unfavorable" opinion of the prospective Lieutenant Governor .[12] Christie and Guadagno defeated Jon Corzine and Loretta Weinberg on November 3, 2009.[13]

Christie announced that as lieutenant governor, Guadagno would also serve as New Jersey's Secretary of State, along with overseeing economic development efforts and the streamlining of government regulations. She was sworn in on January 19, 2010 as the first Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey and the 33rd Secretary of State.

Business In New Jersey

She ran a Pizza Joe's when she was between jobs.

Partnership for Action

Lieutenant Governor Guadagno oversees the New Jersey Partnership for Action (PFA), the State’s comprehensive economic development strategy. Designed to serve businesses of all sizes and development stages, the PFA provides access to a variety of resources to ensure business success. The four-pronged approach include the Business Action Center, which reports directly to the Lt. Governor and provides the business community with a single point of contact; the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, serving as the state’s “bank for business;” Choose New Jersey, and independently funded and operated 501(c)(3)not-for-profit corporation created to encourage and nurture economic growth throughout New Jersey; and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, which coordinates, plans, develops policies, and advocates for the state's higher education system. Through the PFA, New Jersey was able to attract and retain hundreds of companies such as Church & Dwight, Burlington Coat Factory, and Ferring Pharmaceuticals.[14] The Partnership for Action serves as the starting point for all initiatives, policies and efforts related to growing New Jersey's economy and creating quality, sustainable jobs.

In 2012, the Partnership for Action received an award for "Achievement in Reorganization of Economic Development" from Business Facilities Magazine. In 2013, the Partnership received the “Achievement in Business Retention”award from the magazine, in recognition of its highly effective business retention program.[15]

In 2014, The State of New Jersey received multiple awards directly because of the work completed by the Partnership for Action. The Partnership accepted an ”Excellence in Economic Development” award, given by the Site Selectors Guild, a professional association of the world’s most respected site selection consultants. The award recognized communities and individuals for outstanding performance and professionalism in economic development and is only given to four organizations nationwide.[16] Additionally, the state’s enhanced Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (GrowNJ) was named one of the recipients of Business Facilities’ Economic Development 2014 Awards for “Achievement in Targeted Incentives” which marked the second straight year the state was recognized by Business Facilities for its economic development efforts. Business Facilities is one of the premier site-selection publications in the nation.[17]

Business Action Center

The Lt. Governor leads the Business Action Center, which, as part of the PFA, is responsible for helping grow, retain and attract businesses to the State. The Lt. Governor and her team have worked to encourage entrepreneurship, support global competitiveness of New Jersey Companies, and promote the State as a business investment location nationally and internationally.[18]

Since 2010, Lt. Governor Guadagno has provided a personal approach to business retention and expansion through multiple “Business Tours”. To begin what has since provided the State of New Jersey with a greater appreciation for the challenges New Jersey businesses face on a day-to-day basis and the potential solutions for those challenges, the Lt. Governor conducted a “100 Business Tour” in which she visited the businesses reflecting the varied industries New Jersey serves. From that tour came important changes to help improve New Jersey’s business climate including the Single Sales Factor for Corporation Business Tax Income, in which companies may reduce their tax burden; the Alternative Business Calculation Under the Gross Income Tax, through which the Administration eliminated the limit on the application of the corporation business tax research expense credit; and the Minimum Corporation Business Tax, which is a business-friendly tax initiative signed into law that decreased the minimum corporation business tax on New Jersey subchapter S corporations by 25%.[19]

Other tours include:

  • Agribusiness
  • Arts Mean Business
  • Chocolate Manufacturers
  • Fastest Growing Companies
  • Life Sciences
  • Main Street Walks
  • Not-For-Profit
  • Manufacturing
  • Open for Business (Post- Superstorm Sandy)
  • Critical Resources for Small Business

Red Tape Review Commission

The Red Tape Review Commission,[20] chaired by Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, is a permanent, bi-partisan group, which is charged with streamlining government and cutting red tape, as well as making policy recommendations to further reduce the regulatory burden on business and make it easier to grow and hire workers. Members include Senator Brian P. Stack, Senator Steven V. Oroho, Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli, Assemblyman Scott T. Rumana, Mayor Brian D. Levine of Franklin Township, Edward B. Deutsch, Esq., John Galandak, and Tony Monteiro.

The Commission was created on September 23, 2010 by then-Acting Governor Guadagno when she signed Executive Order No. 41. The Commission was to hold at least three public meetings throughout the state in 2011 and will submit a final report to Governor Christie in December 2011. Through these forums, the commission solicited the public’s view of New Jersey’s regulatory process.

On February 8, 2012, the Commission submitted a report detailing the progress the State has made in reducing red tape. Accomplishments were based around Executive Order No. 2 which directed State departments to undertake a review of their administrative regulations to ensure they complied with the “Common Sense Principles” for rulemaking. The Commission suggested and completed a number of goals through legislation, regulatory and policy changes. For example, through legislation the Commission was able to suggest and see completed, the elimination of unnecessary boards, tasks forces, commissions and councils. Through modification in policy, the Commission was able to create the Partnership for Action and improve and reorganize the state planning functions. And through adjustments in regulation, the Commission was able to offer and see implemented changes in public access rules and counselor licensing.[21]

Because many changes were ongoing, the Commission solidified their permanency as part of a recommended policy change and the group continues to hold three public meetings a year through which the interested parties can submit testimony suggesting legislative, regulatory, or policy changes to the Commission.

Secretary of State

As the Secretary of State, Lt. Governor Guadagno is responsible for overseeing artistic, cultural, and historical programs within New Jersey, as well as volunteerism and community service projects within the state.

Under the Department of State, Lt. Governor Guadagno supervises multiple programs, including the State Archives, the state’s research facility and repository for public records of historical value and the Division of Travel and Tourism, which is charged with promoting New Jersey as a premier travel destination.

Additionally, Lt. Governor Guadagno heads the Division of Elections and serves as the Chief Elections Official and chair of the Board of State Canvassers, which certifies election results for federal and state office elections and public questions.

Lt. Governor Guadagno oversees the Division of Programs which includes the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism, the New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service, the Office of Faith Based Initiatives and the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research, and Development.

Finally, as the Secretary of State, Lt. Governor has purview over the NJ Council on the Arts, the NJ Cultural Trust and the NJ Historical Commission, and the Trenton War Memorial.

Controversies, issues and positions


Guadagno supports a pro-choice position on abortion, but would like to see fewer women choose the option. Christie expressed a pro-life stance on abortion during the primary campaign.[7]

Arts Council allegations

In early 2011, Guadagno, who also serves as both Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State, publicly criticized the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for its sloppy handling of public art projects, implying that $300,000 in state funds may have been fraudulently awarded. An official state investigation ended in December 2011 with no finding of wrongdoing. Two officials involved in the funding hired attorneys at their own expense.[22][23]

Hoboken Sandy funds

On January 18, 2014, Mayor of Hoboken Dawn Zimmer, appearing on MSNBC,[24] claimed that Guadagno had pulled her aside in a supermarket parking lot and directly linked Hoboken's receipt of Sandy funding to the approval of a large proposed private development project that required substantial zoning changes to move forward. Mayor Zimmer then said that several days later Richard Constable, director of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs also insinuated to her that more Sandy relief funds would be released to the city if it approved the project in its northwest quadrant.[25][26] The developer, the Rockefeller Group, has ties with Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chief David Samson, a Christie appointee and close Christie associate. On February 22 the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed members of the city's government and potential witnesses, who were instructed to preserve any evidence they might possess.[27] They were also asked by the office of United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Paul Fishman, to not discuss the matter publicly.[28] On January 31, the city acknowledged that it had received subpoenas from that office.[29][30]

After a 16-month investigation the US Attorney for NJ concluded that Zimmer's claims were unfounded. In letters dated May 1, 2015 to Guadagno, Constable and Ferzan the US Attorney wrote: "Based on the evidence developed during the investigation and our review of applicable law, we have concluded that no further action is warranted in this matter. Accordingly, the investigation of these allegations have been closed."[31]

Personal life

Guadagno moved to New Jersey in 1991 and has been a resident of Monmouth Beach, a borough in Monmouth County, since marrying Michael Guadagno in 1991. Her husband is a judge of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division. He was appointed to the bench in 2005 by then-Governor Richard Codey, and elevated to the Appellate Division by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner in 2012.[32] The Guadagnos have three sons. [33][34][35]


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  14. Choose NJ, Recent Relocation and Expansion
  15. Choose NJ, About Us
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  18. Department of State, Business Action Center
  19. Department of State, 100 Businesses Report
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  31. [2].
  32. "Judge Michael A. Guadagno Elevated to Appellate Division of Superior Court", July 3, 2012. Accessed August 8, 2012.
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  35. Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno Biography

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Oxley
Sheriff of Monmouth County
Succeeded by
Shaun Golden
Preceded by
Nina Wells
Secretary of State of New Jersey
New office Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Stack
as Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey
Succeeded by
Casey Cagle
as Lieutenant Governor of Georgia