Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the Republican nominee to succeed Gov. Chris Christie, called Christie’s day at the beach Sunday “beyond words.”
“If I were governor, I sure wouldn’t be sitting on the beach if taxpayers didn’t have access to state beaches,” Guadagno said in a statement Monday.
Photos of Christie, published by NJ Advance Media, showed him enjoying Island Beach State Park with his family and friends just outside the governor’s official beach residence, even though he ordered the park closed to the public because of the state government shutdown.
The photo of Christie relaxing on the beach contradicted the governor’s own statement to reporters that he “didn’t get any sun” on Sunday.
Guadagno has served under Christie for 7 1/2 years, but during her own campaign to succeed him, she has broken with him on a number of big issues, including the state shutdown.
Guadagno has opposed an attempt backed by Christie to restructure the state’s largest health insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, and give the government some control over its reserves. A stalemate over that legislation led to the budget impasse that has shut down the state.
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy, who is currently on a trip to Israel, also opposes the Horizon legislation.
“We need to end the shutdown now. It’s hurting small businesses and ordinary New Jerseyans. Instead of political games, Gov. Christie, Speaker Prieto and Senate President Sweeney should pass a budget that delivers property tax relief and puts taxpayers first,” Guadagno said.