ENG: Christopher James "Chris" Christie (born September 6, 1962) is the 55th and current Governor of New Jersey. Upon his election to the governorship in November 2009, Christie became the first Republican to win a statewide election in New Jersey in 12 years. Christie, an attorney, previously served as United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey.
Early life and family
Chris Christie was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Bill and Sondra Christie. He was raised in Livingston, graduating from Livingston High School. Christie graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1984 and Seton Hall University School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree in 1987. Christie was admitted to the Bar of the State of New Jersey and the Bar of the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, in December 1987.
In 1986, Christie married Mary Pat Foster, a fellow student at the University of Delaware.
After marriage they shared a one-room apartment in Summit, New Jersey. Mary Pat Christie pursued a career in investment banking, eventually working at the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald. She left the firm in 2001 following the September 11th attacks, only recently returning to work part-time. They have four children. Christie and his family reside in Mendham Township, not in the official New Jersey governor's residence, Drumthwacket.
Christie is of Irish and Italian descent.
2009 New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Campaign
On January 8, 2009, Christie filed papers to run for governor.
In the primary on June 2, Christie won the Republican nomination with 55% of the vote, defeating conservative opponents Steve Lonegan and Rick Merkt.
On July 20, 2009, Christie announced that he had chosen Kimberly Guadagno, Monmouth County sheriff, to complete his campaign ticket as a candidate for lieutenant governor. Guadagno, who was elected sheriff in 2007, had previously served on the Monmouth Beach Board of Adjustment, and also as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.
Christie faced criticism for his acceptance of $23,800 in campaign contributions (and the resulting $47,600 in public finance matching funds) from a law firm that received a federal monitor contract while Christie served as the state's U.S. Attorney. In 2006, Christie approved a deferred prosecution agreement with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey after it admitted committing Medicare fraud. Herbert Stern, a former federal judge and prosecutor, to the $500-per-hour post of federal monitor. Christie's close friend and fundraiser John Inglesino, a partner in Stern's law firm, was paid $325 per hour for his work as counsel on the monitorship. Stern's law firm, Stern and Killcullen, received reported more than $10 million in legal fees from the contract. Stern, Inglesino, a third partner, and their wives have since each made the maximum contribution of $3,400 to Christie's gubernatorial campaign.
On August 18, 2009, Christie acknowledged that he had loaned $46,000 to first assistant U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Michele Brown two years ago, while serving as her superior as the state's U.S. Freedom of Information Act. On August 25, 2009, Brown resigned from her post, stating that she does not want to be "a distraction" for the office.
attorney, and that he had failed to report either the loan or its monthly $500 interest payments on both his income tax returns and his mandatory financial disclosure report to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. In response to the disclosure of the financial relationship between Christie and Brown, State Senator Loretta Weinberg, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, called on Brown to recuse herself from the task of retrieving U.S. Attorney’s Office records requested by the Corzine campaign under the
On November 3, Christie defeated Corzine by a margin of 48.5% to 44.9%, with 5.8% of the vote going to independent candidate Chris Daggett.
Christie took office as Governor of New Jersey on January 19, 2010. On February 9, 2010, he signed Executive Order No.
12, which placed a 90-day freeze on the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) and established the Housing Opportunity Task Force to examine the State's affordable housing laws, constitutional obligations, and the effectiveness of the current framework. The Task Force will issue a report within 90 days that makes recommendations to the Governor on reforming the State's affordable housing policies.
On February 11, 2010, Christie signed Executive Order No. 14, which declared a "state of fiscal emergency exists in the State of New Jersey" due to the projected $2.2 billion budget deficit for the current fiscal year (FY 2010). In a speech before a special joint session of the New Jersey Legislature on the same day, Christie addressed the budget deficit and revealed a list of fiscal solutions to close the gap. The cuts included withholding $475 million in State aid to more than 500 school districts, forcing them to spend their surpluses instead. State subsidies to NJ Transit, higher education, and hospitals were also cut. Christie also suspended funding for the Department of the Public Advocate and called for its elimination. Some Democrats criticized Christie for not first consulting them on his budget cuts and for circumventing the Legislature's role in the budget process.
On August 25, 2010 it was announced that New Jersey had lost out on $400 million in Federal Race To The Top education grants. "Gov. Chris Christie said a clerical error by a midlevel official had caused the state to lose out on $400 million in federal school reform money — an error that caused its Race to the Top grant application to fall short of the 10-member winner’s circle by just three points...The mistake, resulted from a failure to correctly read a straight-forward question worth not quite 5 of the competition’s 500 points. The application asked states vying for billions in federal funds to compare their 2008 and 2009 school budgets to illustrate their commitment to education financing. Instead, a New Jersey official, whom the governor would not identify, compared the state’s 2010 and 2011 financing, thus forfeiting the points." Christie criticized the Obama administration by saying that “This is the stuff, candidly, that drives people crazy about government and crazy about Washington... the first part of it is the mistake of putting the wrong piece of paper in, it drives people crazy and, believe me, I’m not thrilled about it. But the second part is, does anybody in Washington, D.C. have a lick of common sense? Pick up the phone and ask us for the number... that’s the stuff the Obama administration should answer for. Are you guys just down there checking boxes like mindless drones, or are you thinking? When the president comes back to New Jersey, he’s going to have to explain to the people of the state of New Jersey why he’s depriving them of $400 million that this application earned.” The New Jersey Education association rebuked Governor Christie by suggesting that the Governor's rejection of a compromise worked out by his Education Commissioner Bret Schundler with the Teacher's unions on May 27 was to blame. The rejection of the deal with the teachers union meant that the state had little more than 3 days to complete the grant applications which were due on June 1. The New York Times reported on August 25, 2010 that showed that the state lost more points in other areas of its application, in part because it got only 59 percent of its 645 school districts to agree to carry out Race to the Top reforms, and only 1 percent of its unions. In New York, which was among the winners, all districts signed on... New Jersey lost 14 points for the union’s lack of support, and 16 points for its failure to make as much progress on statewide student and teacher data systems as other states. Even in the area with Mr. Christie’s most aggressive changes, in educator certification and evaluation, the state came up 14 points short.
On August 26, the U.S. Department of Education released a video showing that the budget issue had been specifically raised at a meeting with Schundler, contradicting Christie's claim that the federal government had not informed them of the error. In response, Gov. Christie asked for Schundler's resignation, saying that Schundler had misinformed Christie of the facts of the situation. Schundler initially agreed to resign, however the following morning he reneged on this promise, and asked to be fired instead - citing his need to claim unemployment benefits. Schundler maintains that he told Christie the truth, and that Christie is misstating what actually occurred.