Kim Guadagno, who served two terms as lieutenant governor under former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and was the state Republican Party’s 2017 gubernatorial nominee, is no longer a member of the GOP, POLITICO has confirmed.
After 30 years as a registered Republican in New Jersey, Guadagno became an unaffiliated voter on Monday, according to records obtained through a public records request.
Guadagno, who was Monmouth County sheriff when Christie tapped her as his candidate for lieutenant governor in 2009, lost the 2017 gubernatorial election to Democrat Phil Murphy.
Her abandonment of the GOP was first reported by New Jersey Globe, which framed her departure as a protest over the leadership of Monmouth County GOP Chair Shaun Golden.
The 62-year-old Guadagno was recently ousted from her job heading the food bank Fulfill after feuding with Monmouth County’s Republican freeholder board over funding. She also backed Assemblymember Serena DiMaso (R-Monmouth), a conservative whom Golden stripped of party support, in last month’s primary.
Though no longer a Republican leader, Guadagno‘s departure from the GOP is an unwelcome sign of discord in a party that has struggled to reestablish its relevance statewide in the wake of Christie, who left office as the most unpopular New Jersey governor since the advent of polling, and former President Donald Trump, who helped turn some traditionally Republican suburbs Democratic.
Guadagno is a partner at the law firm Connell Foley.
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