Chris Christie Early Life
Wilbur James “Bill” Christie, a certified public accountant, and Sondra (Grasso) Christie, a telephone receptionist, welcomed their first child, Christopher James Christie, on September 6, 1962, in Newark, New Jersey. Neither his father nor mother identified as Democrats or Republicans.
After the 1967 Newark race riots, the family moved to Livingston, New Jersey, where they stayed throughout Christie’s formative years. It was then that his passion for public service was sparked.
When he was a student at Livingston High School, Christie’s road to politics was laid out. Additionally, he was elected class president and a representative for the United States Senate Youth Program while he was in high school.
At the University of Delaware after graduating high school, he received an undergraduate degree in political science and then a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall.
Upon graduating from law school, Christie began working for a private law firm specializing in securities law, electoral law, and government relations, where he eventually became a partner.
Christie met fellow attorney William Palatucci, who worked for President Bush while volunteering for George H.W. Bush’s reelection campaign. Christie would run for office again not long after that.
Chris Christie Governorship
A member of the Chosen Freeholder Board since 1994, Christie was elected to his position in 1995. In Morris County, New Jersey, Christie ran as a Republican and defeated the incumbent representative, where he learned the ropes of politics.
He ran for a position in New Jersey’s General Assembly the following year but lost. In the following years, he returned to private practice. Christie was George W. Bush’s campaign lawyer and top fundraiser during the 2000 presidential race.
In 2001, President Bush appointed Christie to the position of U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, giving him the chance to practice both his legal and political skills. While serving as a US Attorney, he was well-liked by the local Republican community and used his fundraising abilities to help the Republican Party win elections. For six years, he held the position.
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s political ambitions grew, and in 2009 he ran for and was elected to the post, defeating Jon Corzine, the Democratic incumbent. In 2013, Governor Christie ran unopposed for re-election and handily won. Despite his moderate politics and plaudits from many New Jerseyans for the recovery work he did during Hurricane Sandy, his administration was not without controversy.
As a result of the Fort Lee lane closure controversy, dubbed “Bridgegate,” Christie was forced into the national spotlight, and that wouldn’t be the last time.
George Washington Bridge (a major commuter bridge in Fort Lee, NJ that connects New Jersey and New York) had two of its three lanes closed in the early morning hours of September 2013. After four days of gridlock, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reopened the terminals.
— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) June 30, 2022
A federal investigation was begun because the bridge uses a considerable amount of federal cash and it was speculated that the lanes were purposefully halted by the state as a retaliatory step against the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Governor Christie in his most recent election.
After an investigation, it was determined that advisers to Governor Christie were responsible for shutting down lanes, and they claimed at the time that it was for a traffic study, but they later admitted they were motivated by politics. The convictions of three Christie administration officials were reversed after they were indicted on several offenses. Despite Christie’s lack of criminal charges, there was a large amount of evidence suggesting he had knowledge of or involvement in the affair.
The state government of New Jersey was shut down in July 2017 because of budgetary problems. State-run beaches and other state-funded facilities were shut down as a result of the shutdown.
Governor Christie and his family were photographed by a news plane vacationing at Island Beach State Park, a state-run beach that he had closed to the public the weekend before the July 4th holiday (which fell on a Tuesday that year). He and his family remained at the official governor’s mansion in the park, which they accessed via state helicopter as well as the beach.
Anger over the use of public beaches, state-funded housing, and state-funded transportation by Governor Christie and his family during their private vacation erupted as aerial images showed them relaxing on the beach.
After the public backlash, Christie replied, “That’s how it goes.” “If you run for governor, you’ll get to live there.”
His flippant retort was met with a cold reception.
Run for the Presidency
Christie declared his candidacy for the presidency of the United States of America in 2016. In June of that year, he announced his candidacy.
As a Republican candidate for president, Chris Christie would join a field of 16 other prominent contenders. Christie struggled to get traction in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries due to a crowded field of candidates.
Early polling indicated that Christie was considerably behind Trump in the Republican primary race, so he dropped out of the race in February 2016 and endorsed Trump, who would go on to win the Republican nomination and become president.
Christie helped Trump prepare for his presidential debate with Democratic contender Joseph R. Biden in the 2020 campaign. On top of all of that, he contributed political commentary to ABC News and was officially recognized as a political lobbyist.
Chris Christie Personal Life
During his time at the University of Delaware in 1986, Chris married Mary Pat Foster, a fellow student. They have a family of four. New Jersey’s Mendham Township is where Chris and his family reside. When they bought their 6-acre property in 1998, they paid $775,000 for it.