Kim Guadagno is in contention to become the next governor of New Jersey.
On June 6th, New Jersey will hold its gubernatorial primaries, with the general election being scheduled for the fall. In the Republican field, the leading candidate is Kim Guadagno, the state’s lieutenant governor who has served since 2010. Her only real competitor on the Republican side is Jack Ciattarelli, a state assemblyman, but most polls show Guadagno in the lead. In the general election, Guadagno will likely be facing former United States Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy.
If Kim Guadagno is elected governor, the first gentleman of New Jersey will be Michael Guadagno, a former judge who has been married to Kim Guadagno for over 20 years. Here’s what you need to know about him.
1. He Is a Former New Jersey Superior Court Judge
Michael Guadagno is a former judge who sat on New Jersey’s Appellate Division of the Superior Court.
Guadagno was appointed the Superior Court by New Jersey Governor Richard Codey in 2005. He served in Monmouth County Vicinage for three years and then for two years in Ocean County Vicinage before returning to Manmouth County in 2010.
In 2012, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner appointed Michael Guadagno to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court, where he remained until his retirement in 2017.
2. He Retired in 2017, Writing a Formal Letter to His Wife, the Lieutenant Governor
Earlier this year, Michael Guadango resigned from the Superior Court, as he had reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.
When a judge resigns, they send a letter to the secretary of state, and in this case, it just so happened that New Jersey’s secretary of state was Michael Guadango’s wife, Kim. With that in mind, Michael Guadango decided to have a bit of fun with his resignation letter.
“While we are on the subject, I take this opportunity to remind you that you receive no pension for your work as lieutenant governor,” Guadango wrote in the letter, according to NJ.com.”With your term ending in January 2018, and my income substantially reduced, this may be an excellent opportunity for you to consider a career change to a more lucrative position.”
This, of course, was a reference to the fact that his wife had at that point already declared her intention to run for governor and replace Chris Christie, which would indeed be quite a career change.
The letter concluded, “No need to respond to this letter as we can discuss this matter over dinner.”
3. He Previously Worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office
Before becoming a judge, Michael Guadango worked in the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Guadango had worked in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, also later in the U.S. Department of Justice Organized Crime Strike Force. But starting in 1989, he began working in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.
Guadango worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey until his judicial appointment in 2005.
4. He Met Kim While Working in New York
Though she’s now running to be the governor of New Jersey, Kim Guadango previously worked in New York, and it’s here that she met her husband.
After working at a law firm in New York City out of college, Kim joined the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York’s organized crime and racketeering strike force in Brooklyn, according to NJ.com.
It was here that Kim met Michael, and she actually tried her first case with him. Later, Michael joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, and Kim joined the office’s anti-corruption unit.
According to Kim Guadango’s website, she married Michael in 1991, and they subsequently moved to New Jersey together.
5. He & Kim Have Three Children
Kim and Michael Guadango have three children together: Kevin, Anderson and Michael.
Kevin Guadagno is Kim and Michael’s oldest child, and earlier this year, he graduated the U.S. Air Force Academy’s fighter pilot training.
Kim Guadango frequently talks about how proud a mother she is, with her Twitter bio noting that she is a “proud military mom w/ 3 sons!” She also said on Twitter on 2016, “Thank you USO for giving my USAF son a safe home away from home.”
On Veterans Day 2016, Kim Guadango said on Instagram, “Proud today, more than any day, to introduce myself as Kevin’s mom. God bless all those who have worn the uniform.”