Murphy names state assemblywoman Oliver as his running mate

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NEWARK -

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy formally announced that he has selected long-term state Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver as his lieutenant governor candidate.

Oliver started her political career on the East Orange school board and has served in the state Legislature for 20 years. She says that she has had enough of her experience with Gov. Chris Christie and his administration.

“I’m am excited to be part of the Phil Murphy team that will focus on problem solving, not name calling,” she said at Wednesday’s news conference.

Some political experts say that Oliver will provide Murphy with the state government experience that he doesn’t have as a former Wall Street executive.

New Jersey has only had one lieutenant governor so far: Murphy’s Republican opponent Kim Guadagno. Guadagno’s campaign called Murphy an "out-of-touch millionaire' and says his choice of Oliver doesn't change that.

“Our state is in crisis, our economy is broken, our people have lost faith, Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno have lost touch,” Murphy said. “It is time for a governor and lieutenant governor who have your back, and we will.”

Guadagno’s role as lieutenant governor was often a quiet presence, and she left policy statements to Gov. Christie. She often traveled around the state attending community events.

But Oliver says that she has more vocal goals for her role if elected.

“This is something I wanted to do to support Phil Murphy as he revamps the environment in Trenton,” she said.

Guadagno meanwhile spent Wednesday in West New York speaking with small business owners. She said that adding to their overhead will put them out of business.

“They're living on a very small margin and when you increase taxes or anything else, $15 minimum wage, paid sick leave…any of the other taxes Phil Murphy recommends be increased in New Jersey, they're going out of business. Simple as that,” she said.

Guadagno is expected to formally announce her choice for running mate Thursday. News 12 New Jersey will carry the announcement live.

Green Party candidate the Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale on Tuesday announced media commentator Lisa Durden as his running mate.

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