By Matt Friedman | July 20th, 2009 - 4:45pm
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Now that Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie has selected a pro-choice running mate, the state’s biggest pro-life advocacy group is unlikely to endorse him.

“With the lieutenant governor pick, I don’t see how we can endorse someone who has a pro-choice running mate,” said New Jersey Right to Life Executive Director Marie Tasy.  

Christie today tapped Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno to run for lieutenant governor on his ticket.  She revealed her that she is pro-choice at a press conference with Christie in Asbury Park today.  

Tasy stressed that the endorsement decision is not up solely to her, but to a panel of four leaders of the group’s political action committee that includes her.  

New Jersey Right to Life stayed out of the Republican gubernatorial primary, since both Christie and Lonegan said they were against abortion.

“We take Chris Christie at his word that if elected he will work to enact life-protecting laws that are overwhelmingly supported by New Jersey voters,” said Tasy.  

While Guadagno’s place on the ticket looks like a deal breaker for the pro-life group, the pick doesn’t appear to be winning Christie any support on the other side of the spectrum.

Michele Jaker, the executive director of the Planned Parenthood Action Committee, said that her group is “eagerly awaiting any information on Kim Guadango's positions on reproductive health care.”

“We are sending her a candidate questionnaire today and look forward to learning more about her positions on these important issues.  Unfortunately, we know that Chris Christie opposes a woman's right to choose and has vowed to roll back reproductive rights if elected.  And at the end of the day, you don't get to cast a vote for her without voting for him,” she said. 

Despite passionate advocates on both sides of the abortion divide, the gubernatorial election is unlikely to turn on the issue.  Only one percent of respondents to a Monmouth University/Gannett poll released last week said that abortion was a top issue that the candidates for governor should talk about.  

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“We lived up to our end of the bargain. He didn’t live up to his end of the deal.” - Ed Connolly, president of the New Jersey Firemen’s Benevolent Association.

- The Bergen Record

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