Guadagno abandons NJ GOP amid Monmouth squabble
One of New Jersey's most prominent republicans has left the GOP.
Kim Guadagno, a Republican for three decades and New Jersey's first lieutenant governor, is now registered as an independent. NJ.com confirmed her withdrawal from the party and posted images of her political party affiliation form.
Her loss to the party is more fallout from several ongoing feuds involving Monmouth County GOP Chairman Shaun Golden. Golden has been moving to consolidate his power and push out those he does not feel are loyal enough. Golden succeeded Guadagno as Monmouth County sheriff, and the two had a solid relationship for years.
There has been friction between Golden and other prominent Republicans, and that had been the case with Guadagno in recent years. The feud came to a head when Guadagno supported Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso in the primary election. DiMaso was already on the outs with Golden, who pulled party support from her and cost her her seat in the legislature.
The intra-party squabbles in the Monmouth County GOP comes at a time when Republicans state wide have been struggling to regain power. Democrats have been consistently beating them for years, and have a solid majority in both houses of the legislature and key local posts to prove it. The lack of a cohesive party and a pipeline of solid candidates have contributed to the Republican Party's inability to make substantial gains in Trenton and on the local level.
Guadagno, who ran against Phil Murphy and lost in 2017, was one of the most visible and recognizable Republicans in New Jersey. Her loss underscores how divided and dysfunctional the party has become.