The frontrunner for the Republican nomination in New Jersey’s gubernatorial election released a new campaign ad Thursday, again promising an “audit” of the state capital and further distancing herself from long-time ally Governor Chris Christie. Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno is promising to nix Christie’s proposed plans to extensively renovate the State House itself in the new ad, a project that would cost the state roughly $300 million to bring the nearly 300 year-old building up to modern safety standards.
“Trenton has lost sight of everything that’s important in New Jersey. We need lower taxes. We need less spending, more trust in our government. We need to do better. We need to take that $300 million and help those people put a roof over their head and food on their table,” Guadagno says in the new clip.
“The Trenton politicians want to spend $300 million to renovate the building that’s right behind me right now. Really? At a time when we have the highest taxes in the country, we have the highest foreclosure rate in the country, and we still have a million people who go to bed hungry every night?”
Guadagno is far ahead of intra-party rival Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli according to a recent Quinnipac poll, though Democrat Phil Murphy has an early lead for the general election. Her closest competitor, comedian Joe Piscopo, will be running as an independent instead of as a Republican. She has also secured the county line, a key step toward positioning herself at the top of the ballot as voters vote down the ticket, in several key counties.
Guadagno has good reason to play down her connection to Christie, who created the position of lieutenant governor—another Quinnipac poll released in January found him with record-low approval ratings.