The race for Governor continues to march forward with the two gubernatorial nominees Phil Murphy (D) and Kim Guadagno (R) announcing their selections for Lieutenant Governor earlier this week. The Murphy campaign has announced that Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver (D-34) will join Phil Murphy on the Democratic ticket, and there are reports that Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno has chosen Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo (R).
The position of Lieutenant Governor is the second highest ranking official in State government and is next in the order of succession in the event of a vacancy in the office of Governor resulting from the death, resignation or removal of the Governor in office.
Here is a quick look at the candidates for Lieutenant Governor:
Democratic Nominee: Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver (D-34)
- Born: July 14, 1952 in Newark, NJ; currently resides in East Orange, NJ.
- Education: B.A. in Sociology from Lincoln University; M.S. in Urban Planning and Administration from Columbia University.
- Experience: Member of the General Assembly 2004-Present representing the 34th Legislative District; Speaker of the General Assembly 2010-2014; Assistant County Administrator for Essex County 2001-Present; Democratic candidate for US Senate 2013; member of the East Orange Board of Education from 1994-2000 serving as Vice President from 1998-1999 and President from 1999-2000; Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders 1996-1999.
- Legislative Committees: Currently serves on the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee, Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, Joint Committee on the Public Schools, and the Joint Committee on Economic Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity.
- Special Accomplishments: Oliver is the first African-American woman to lead a legislative house in New Jersey, and just the second in American history.
Republican Nominee: Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo (R)
- Born: 1964 in Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1966.
- Education: B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University; J.D. from Temple University School of Law.
- Experience: Woodcliff Lake Mayor 2015-Present; Partner of the law firm Mulkay and Rendo; New Jersey Head of Marco Rubio for President; New Jersey City University Trustee; Woodcliff Lake Borough Council President 2014-2015; Planning Board Attorney for the Town of West New York from 1996-2008 and 2010-2012; served on Governor Christine Todd Whitman’s Ethnic Advisory Council.
- Special Accomplishments: First Latino to hold the position of Mayor in the Bergen County borough.
The decision to select Oliver, an Essex County Democrat, as his running mate may help energize the Democratic base in NJ. Guadagno’s selection of Rendo, a relatively unknown to State politics, not only helps distance herself from Governor Christie’s low approval ratings, but Rendo’s connections to the Hispanic Community in Hudson County could aid the campaign in attracting voters that typically vote Democrat. As polls continue to analyze the gubernatorial race, this news will likely have an impact for the foreseeable future.