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Chris Christie’s Running Mate Wants New Jersey to Sell Controversial Beach House

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New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno is calling for Gov. Chris Christie’s summer beach house to be sold, following a controversy earlier this week in which Christie was photographed spending the Fourth of July weekend on a state beach that was closed to the public amid a government shutdown.

“I’ve never thought there should be a beach house for the governor,” Guadagno, the Republican nominee in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race, told NJ Advance Media on Friday. “I think it should be sold.”

New Jersey’s governor is allocated exclusive use of many beach houses at Island Beach State Park, among other privileges, according to NJ.com.

Christie has staunchly defended himself after drawing criticism for the beach trip, telling Good Day Philadelphia: “I’m sorry they’re not the governor. This is a residence. Here’s the problem. We have a residence in Princeton as well and that place is a place where people can go and tour but they can’t if the government’s closed. Am I supposed to move out and stay in a hotel?”

New Jersey Democrats have introduced legislation to offer the state-owned beach house for rent to the public, along with a bill to prohibit the governor from using state-owned property during a budget-related government shutdown, NJ.com reports.

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Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com