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Running Mates: Oliver is Murphy’s Pick, Rendo Likely as Guadagno’s

Former Assembly Speaker brings political experience to Democratic gubernatorial ticket, Cuban-born Republican mayor seen as appealing to Hispanic voters

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy will announce former Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver as his running mate at a news conference today.

Murphy is believed to have chosen Assemblywoman Oliver as his candidate for lieutenant governor because he wanted a seasoned politician; Oliver was Speaker of the Assembly from 2010 to 2014. And, reports Michael Aron of NJTV News, “Her selection works on a number of levels: she’s a woman and an African-American from a county with a substantial African-American population … and her selection is aimed in part at pleasing Essex County party leaders, who were feeling left out of the power positions in a Murphy government scenario.”

Not everybody will be happy with Oliver’s selection, not least public-sector unions, which were displeased with her role in pension and benefit-reform efforts in 2011.

Friday is the deadline for the gubernatorial candidates to make known their choices for lieutenant governor. Politico is reporting that Republican Kim Guadagno is ready to name as her running mate Carlos Rendo, an immigration attorney who is the mayor of Woodcliff Lake in Bergen County.

Selecting Rendo is seen as an effort by Guadagno to appeal to Hispanic voters. Rendo, who was born in Cuba, is the only Republican Hispanic mayor in the state. Given that Rendo was a big supporter of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in last year’s Republican presidential primaries, it’s also seen as another step by Guadagno away from Gov. Chris Christie and, indeed, away from President Donald Trump.

Read the full story on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.

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