TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno has entered the race to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Election Law Enforcement Commission spokesman Scott Miccio said that Guadagno filed paperwork with the state Thursday to run in the Republican primary.

Guadagno is the state’s first lieutenant governor and was elected with Christie in 2009 and re-elected in 2013.

“The biggest hurdle for Kim Guadagno to overcome is the fact that she has been so closely tied as part of the Chris Christie administration,” Ben Dworkin, head of the politics program at Rider University, told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell. “It has largely been a restricted kind of role as lieutenant governor.” 

Among her top duties over the last seven years has been working with businesses to stay in New Jersey and acting as governor while Christie traveled out of state. She’s well known in the state’s business community for her accessibility, regularly handing out her cell phone number.

Guadagno is an attorney who served as a federal prosecutor in New York and later moved to New Jersey where she served as Monmouth County sheriff.

Somerset County Representative Jack Ciatarelli is also running on the Republican side, and he’s announced he’s battling cancer.

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