Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno’s mother dies in Virginia
TRENTON — Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno's mother passed away over the holiday weekend in Virginia.
Department of State spokeswoman Suzanne Schwab issued a statement Monday that Guadagno left the state to be with her family following the death of Mary Patricia (Pat) Blevens McFadden.
"Please include them in your prayers during this incredibly difficult time," Schwab wrote.
Schwab did not disclose a cause or date of death, nor any details of McFadden's funeral.
Guadagno missed speaking at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial service at PNC Bank Arts Center on Monday. Monmouth County Freeholder Serena DiMaso stepped in as a last-minute replacement.
The Republican gubernatorial candidate has mentioned her mother often on the campaign trail, citing her fiscal discipline while raising Guadagno and her four siblings.
In an interview with Living in Media last September, Guadagno said her family lived in 25 different places because of her father's job as a television station manager, and compared it to being an Army brat.
"My mother would pack up and move us every year or two years, she’s the one going to heaven, I appreciate it all the more now because I have three kids and she had five. Packing up five kids that often and organizing their lives … it was hard for her. But there was always consistency; consistency of family, consistency of furniture. It didn’t matter where the house was or what the backyard looked like, there was always a core family and literally core furniture you recognized. Right now I couldn’t tell you where I went to elementary school, but I know exactly where the kitchen table was and exactly where my mother’s business table was," Guadagno said.
Guadagno said that said she picked up a "thick skin" from her mother, and her parents' dinner table political debate led her to politics.
"He was a debater and she was a fighter. She could give a good punch and she could take a good punch and for the world I live in now you have no idea how well that training serves me … since I became a politician."
Tracy McFadden Butterhof, Guadagno's sister, wrote on her Facebook page that McFadden "sacrificed everything, I mean everything, to support her husband and raise five amazing children. I love you Mommy you taught me and my sister to get letters after our names, before we got them before my names. We are all who we are because of and in spite of you."
Gov. Chris Christie said in a a statement that Guadagno "often shared stories with me over the years about her Mom's strength and the great example she set for her every day. The death of a parent is always a very difficult time. The thoughts and prayers of not only me and Mary Pat, but all the people of New Jersey, are with Kim and her family.”
Several of Guadagno's fellow Republicans, including her rivals in next Tuesday's primary, as well as prominent Democrats in the state offered their condolences.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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