Rick Shaftan is getting his way. The veteran conservative political consultant has been arguing for years that one of the best ways to beat a Democrat in New Jersey is for Republicans to run a Catholic candidate of Irish or Italian descent for statewide office. Now the Republicans are running two Catholics – the first time they have nominated a Catholic since William Cahill in 1969. GOP gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie's father is Irish and his mother was Italian; his running mate, Kimberly McFadden Guadagno, is Irish, and his married to Superior Court Judge Michael Anthony Guadagno. Christie and Guadagno are the first Irish Republicans to run statewide since Cahill, and Christie is the first Italian American to win a Republican nomination for statewide office.