The current lieutenant governor and secretary of state, Guadagno is a married mother of three from Monmouth Beach.
Guadagno, 57, was born in Iowa and, because her father worked in sales, she lived in more than a dozen places before going to college. She has a political science degree from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania and graduated cum laude from the American University Washington College of Law in 1983.
After getting her law degree, Guadagno clerked in the federal courts in New York City and then worked at a private firm.
In 1988, she joined the United States Organized Crime Strike Force, where she met her husband-to-be. Then she became an assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey in Newark. While there, she was awarded the Department of Justice’s highest honor for her separate prosecutions of two corrupt public officials.
Guadagno moved to state law enforcement in 1999 and served for two years as assistant attorney general, where she oversaw statewide criminal investigations and 300 prosecutors and investigators.
A dozen years ago, she decided to run for public office to help solve the problems facing her community and make it a better place. In 2005, she was elected as a commissioner in Monmouth Beach. Two years later, Guadagno became the first woman elected sheriff in Monmouth County, and led the 650-member, $65 million law enforcement agency.
In 2010, Guadagno became the state’s first lieutenant governor, filling in for Gov. Chris Christie when he is out of state. Christie also named her secretary of state, and in that position, her focus has been on cutting government red tape, recruiting new businesses to New Jersey, and helping existing businesses stay and grow, as well as overseeing the administration of elections, New Jersey’s $40 billion tourism industry, and long-term growth plan for military bases and U.S. Coast Guard installations.
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