By Andrew Seidman

New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno has filed paperwork to run for governor, a spokesman for the state's election law regulator said Thursday.

Guadagno, 57, was elected the state's first lieutenant governor as Gov. Chris Christie's running mate in 2009.

A former federal prosecutor, Guadagno, a Republican, began her political ascent in 2007, when she was elected Monmouth County sheriff, the first woman to hold the post.

Long a quiet voice in the Christie administration, Guadagno, who is also secretary of state, has taken steps recently to distinguish herself from the deeply unpopular governor.

In a high-profile break with Christie, Guadagno this year opposed a gas tax hike to fund the state's roads and bridges, as well as a constitutional amendment to dedicate the revenues to transportation projects.

Also running for the GOP nomination is Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli of Somerset County.

Running for the Democratic nomination are former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy, Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski of Middlesex County, and Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak of Union County.

(c)2017 The Philadelphia Inquirer