Guadagno, Murphy Still Have Time to Pick LG Candidates

Guadagno and comedian Joe Piscopo. Alyana Alfaro for Observer

Anyone wondering why Kim Guadagno and Phil Murphy have yet to announce their picks for lieutenant governor may be in suspense for a few more months.

In New Jersey, after the Division of Elections certifies primary results, candidates for governor have 30 days to announce their running mates. In previous years, that process has taken up to two months. If this year follows suit, the June 6 primary results could be certified as late as mid-August. And in that case, the 30-day countdown would run through mid-September.

An extended timeline will allow both Guadagno, the Republican nominee, and Murphy, the Democrat, more time to vet possible running mates as speculation ramps up on both sides about the possibilities.

Guadagno typically oversees the Division of Elections in her role as New Jersey’s secretary of state. But this year she has recused herself from election-related matters because she will be on the ballot. In her place, acting Secretary of State Dennis Robinson will preside over election matters, including the certification of primary winners.

For the 2013 gubernatorial election, Guadagno certified primary results on June 28, 2013, according to DOE reports. (She was also a candidate then but was not recused.)

In 2009, the previous gubernatorial cycle, former Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells certified the primary results on Aug. 4. In that election year, Chris Christie announced Guadagno as his running mate on July 20, well before the 30-day post-certification deadline.

On the Democratic side, Murphy has been reportedly been weighing candidates such as Assemblywomen Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) and Shavonda Sumter (D-Passaic) and former Camden Mayor Dana Redd. Possibilities for Guadagno’s ticket mate include comedian Joe Piscopo and Evesham Township Mayor Randy Brown.

Observer NJ contacted both the Murphy and Guadagno campaigns about the vetting process of potential running mates but both declined to comment.