Chris Christie picks running mate

July 20, 2009 4:18:47 PM PDT
New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie has picked Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno as his running mate for the November general election.

Guadagno, 50, is a former federal prosecutor, as is Christie.

This election is the first in which New Jersey's gubernatorial candidates will have running mates for the new position of lieutenant governor.

"Kim has the experience that New Jerseyans need in their first lieutenant governor," Christie said in a video released Monday morning. "But even more important, Kim has proven over her career that she has the ability to do the right thing day in and day out.

"She is Monmouth County's first female sheriff, and she has gotten national acclaim for the job that she's doing keeping the people of Monmouth County safe and secure," Christie said.

In the video, Guadagno said her three sons, who currently live in New Jersey, will soon have to leave the state.

"They're going to have to go and find opportunity elsewhere because this state is broken," she said.

Guadagno runs a sheriff's office with 695 employees and a budget of $65 million.

Her office oversees a 1,328 bed maximum security correctional facility, a youth detention center and a police communications emergency dispatch center.

She is a former Assistant United States Attorney, and Assistant Attorney General. As Deputy Director of the state Division of Criminal Justice, she supervised a staff of approximately 300 prosecutors and investigators.

As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Kim was the Deputy Chief of the Corruption Unit.

Christie and Guadagno plan to make campaign stops in Asbury Park, Woodbridge and Garfield Monday.

Gov. Jon Corzine has yet to announce who his running mate will be.

-Associated Press Writer Wayne Parry in Atlantic City contributed to this story.

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