Kim Guadagno has plans to meet with Carlos Rendo soon and is expected to name the Republican mayor of Woodcliff Lake as her running mate in the governor’s race, a source told Observer.
Guadagno was in Colorado on Monday and Tuesday for a gathering of the Republican Governors Association, but she was expected back in state with a public schedule by Wednesday. Depending on the timing, that means Guadagno could meet with Rendo as early as Tuesday evening.
Rendo emerged as Guadagno’s pick for the lieutenant governor spot on the Republican ticket in several reports Tuesday. Guadagno campaign spokesman Ricky Diaz declined to confirm or deny those reports or discuss the running mate situation.
One source with knowledge of the campaign told Observer that the formal announcement of a Guadagno running mate would come Thursday. Rendo, the Cuban American mayor of a Bergen County borough with nearly 6,000 residents, would bring diversity to the Republican ticket. He is the only Republican Hispanic mayor in New Jersey.
But he does not have the level of experience in state government that the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, former Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, brings to the table for nominee Phil Murphy.
Observer confirmed that Oliver will be Murphy’s pick. He will formally announce his running mate at a Wednesday morning event in Newark, his campaign said.
Politico New Jersey was first to publish an article about Rendo’s selection on Tuesday.
Rendo is a lawyer who was elected mayor of Woodcliff Lake in 2015. He was a New Jersey co-chair of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign and would be the first person of Latino descent to serve as lieutenant governor. The state has had only one lieutenant governor — Guadagno.
Guadagno is required to name her running mate by Friday.