TRENTON - New Jersey Gov.-elect Chris Christie yesterday selected his lieutenant governor to also serve as secretary of state.
The nomination of Kim Guadagno as secretary of state had leaked out Tuesday. The law that created New Jersey's new lieutenant governor post even suggests that the position be combined with that of secretary of state.
Guadagno is Christie's second Cabinet appointment in as many days. On Tuesday, he nominated Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow as the next attorney general. In nominating Dow, a Democrat, the Republican governor-elect looked beyond political party, and instead drew from his reservoir of former colleagues. Dow was Christie's counsel for a year when he was U.S. attorney.
Guadagno, 50, will become New Jersey's first lieutenant governor on Jan. 19.
As lieutenant governor, she's the No. 2 in the state government chain of command and will assume the role of governor when Christie is out of state or unable to serve.
As secretary of state, she'll oversee the Division of Elections, plus the arts, cultural programs and tourism. Christie also has assigned her economic development and regulator review duties.
"She will continue to be, as she is now, a full partner of mine in every decision of governance that we make," Christie said. "That will serve me well, that will serve the people of New Jersey well and it will serve Kim well because we want her at a moment's notice to be prepared to take over the governorship if need be. The only way for that to happen is for her to be a full partner."
Guadagno, who will earn $141,000 a year as a Cabinet official and will draw no additional salary.
"I've been doing two jobs for one salary for many, many years," said Guadagno, a married mother of three who is the Monmouth County sheriff.
Guadagno's appointment does not require Senate confirmation. Dow's does.