Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey
|Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey
Seal of New Jersey
|Term length||Four years, no term limit|
|Inaugural holder||Kim Guadagno
|Formation||New Jersey State Constitution amendment|
The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is a position that has existed since January 2010, following conjoint election with the Governor of New Jersey. The position was created as the result of a Constitutional amendment to the New Jersey State Constitution passed by the voters on November 8, 2005. While the amendment itself took effect as of January 17, 2006, and made some interim changes to the succession to the governorship, the first lieutenant governor was not elected until November 3, 2009, when Republican Kim Guadagno was chosen by the voters as the running-mate of Chris Christie.
Prior to the creation of the Lieutenant Governor's office, the Governor of New Jersey was the only state-wide (non-federal) elected office in the state. Thus, unlike many other states that have elections for cabinet-level positions, the New Jersey State Constitution allows the governor to appoint them. In the event of a gubernatorial vacancy, the New Jersey Constitution had specified that the President of the New Jersey Senate (followed by the Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly) would assume the role of Acting Governor and retain their powerful role in the Senate (or Assembly). An Acting Governor would then assume the powerful governorship while retaining the reins of power in their house of the legislature.
This situation has occurred twice in recent years: when Christine Todd Whitman stepped down in 2001 to assume the position of administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; and when James E. McGreevey resigned amid scandal on November 15, 2004. At both occasions, New Jersey's constitution (along with Arizona, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wyoming) had no position of Lieutenant Governor. After Whitman's resignation, Donald DiFrancesco, then John Bennett, and finally Richard Codey became Acting Governors. In McGreevey's case, Codey again became the Acting Governor. In each of these situations, the Acting Governor concurrently served as President of the State Senate.
While concerns had long been raised[by whom?] regarding the succession in the event of a vacancy, these two resignations in a span of a few years raised greater public attention to the issue. Justifications for the creation of a Lieutenant Governor position focused on three primary issues:
- Unelected / Nonrepresentative Successor - The Senate President is chosen by the members of the New Jersey Senate, and was not elected by voters statewide to be a potential gubernatorial successor. Those eligible to become Senate President are elected to the Senate by the voters in only one of the forty legislative districts statewide.
- Separation of Powers - In a state with an extremely powerful position of Governor, having the Senate President assume the role of Acting Governor is a breach of the separation of powers of the executive and legislative branches.
- Political party disparity - There is no guarantee that the Senate President (or the Lieutenant Governor) will follow the legislative platform of his predecessor. As the Senate President may not even be from the same party, there is even greater concern that the policies of the Acting Governor might be in conflict with those of the preceding governor.
Lieutenant Governor amendment 
With these concerns in mind, on Election Day, November 8, 2005, the voters passed an amendment to the New Jersey State Constitution that creates the position of Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey effective with the 2009 elections. The amendment also provides that in the event of a permanent vacancy in the office of Governor after January 17, 2006 and before the first Lieutenant Governor had taken office in 2010, the President of the Senate, followed by the Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, would become Governor but will then vacate his or her Senate (or Assembly) seat by the action of assuming the office.
The amendment provides a new order of succession:
- In the event of a vacancy in the office of Governor resulting from the death, resignation or removal of a Governor in office, or the death of a Governor-elect, or from any other cause, the Lieutenant Governor shall become Governor, until a new Governor is elected and qualifies.
- In the event of simultaneous vacancies in both the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor resulting from any cause, the President of the Senate shall become Governor until a new Governor or Lieutenant Governor is elected and qualifies. In the event that there is a vacancy in the office of Senate President, or the Senate President declines to become Governor, then the Speaker of the General Assembly shall become Governor until a new Governor or Lieutenant Governor is elected and qualifies. In the event that there is a vacancy in the office of Speaker of the General Assembly, or if the Speaker declines to become Governor, then the functions, powers, duties and emoluments of the office shall devolve for the time being upon such officers and in the order of succession as may be provided by law, until a new Governor or Lieutenant Governor is elected and qualifies. (Article V, Section I, paragraph 6)
The amendment also provides:
- The Governor shall appoint the Lieutenant Governor to serve as the head of a principal department or other executive or administrative agency of State government, or delegate to the Lieutenant Governor duties of the office of Governor, or both. The Governor shall not appoint the Lieutenant Governor to serve as Attorney General. The Lieutenant Governor shall in addition perform such other duties as may be provided by law. (Article V, Section I, paragraph 10)
First election, 2009 
During the week before the July 27, 2009, deadline for the gubernatorial candidates to designate their running mates, Republican candidate Chris Christie selected Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno, while Democratic incumbent Governor Jon Corzine chose State Senator Loretta Weinberg. On July 27, independent gubernatorial candidate Chris Daggett selected as his running mate Frank J. Esposito, a Kean University history professor who once served as interim president of the university.
|#||Lt. Governor||Term start||Term end||Party||Governor||Terms|
|1||Kim Guadagno||January 19, 2010||present||Republican||Chris Christie|
See also 
- Stile, Charles. "Christie announces lieutenant governor pick", The Record (Bergen County), July 20, 2009. Accessed July 21, 2009.
- New Jersey State Constitution
- FreedomNewsDigest.com and ThomasCaggiano.com - Are web sites filed in N.J. Superior and Federal District Courts, the Department of Justice, FBI and newspapers exposing massive official corruption in New Jersey and Federal Government
- Outline and Interpretive Statement of Public Question #1 To Establish Office of the Lieutenant Governor (Acrobat Reader Required)
- New Jersey Election Commission Official Election Results For Public Question #1 (Acrobat Reader Required)