Update, Feb. 10, 2016: Chris Christie has decided to end his 2016 presidential bid.
With the shadow of the Fort Lee bridge scandal still looming, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will today make a long-anticipated announcement that he’s running for president.
The two-time Republican governor and former U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, known for his combative style, has been on the road much of the year, making multiple trips to states that host some of the nation’s earliest presidential primaries and caucuses.
Last week, during his fifth trip to Iowa this year, Christie laid out plans to reform the rising costs of higher education and practices of teachers unions. Christie also made nine visits to New Hampshire so far, bringing his “Tell It Like It Is” town hall series to the Granite State.
Christie will likely have to ramp up fundraising efforts as he wades into a race with more than a dozen others already vying for the Republican nomination.
Here are nine things to know about this latest presidential hopeful’s political and financial history:
- With Chris Christie as chairman, the Republican Governors Association raised more than $100 million to support GOP candidates in 36 gubernatorial races during 2014.
- Under Chris Christie’s leadership, the Republican Governors Association broke fundraising records with $23.5 million in the first quarter of 2014 — more than double the amount raised during that period in 2010.
- During Chris Christie’s tenure as RGA chairman, the top donor to the organization was billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who contributed $4.5 million.
- After referring to Palestinian lands as “occupied territories” in a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition, Christie apologized to mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, a staunch defender of Israel.
- Allies of Chris Christie filed paperwork in January with the Federal Election Commission to establish Leadership Matters for America PAC, a group supporting Christie’s presidential ambitions.
- For his campaign, Chris Christie has already nabbed Phil Valenziano, former top aide for Mitt Romney, and the Republican National Committee’s top fundraiser, Ray Washburne.
- To back Chris Christie’s run, America Leads Super PAC was launched in February by Phil Cox, who served as executive director of the Republican Governors Association since 2011.
- Chris Christie’s 2009 campaign for governor brought in $16.2 million, and his 2013 re-election campaign raised $20.2 million, the largest portion of which came from lawyers and lobbyists, retired people and the finance industry.
- During Chris Christie’s 2009 campaign for governor, just 5.5 percent of funds he raised came from out-of-state. During his 2013 re-election bid, that number jumped to 21 percent.
Sources: Center for Public Integrity reporting, Federal Election Commission, National Institute on Money in State Politics.
Image sources: AP/Jim Cole, AP/Andrew Harnik, AP/Julio Cortez
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