Christopher 'Chris' J. Christie(Rep)
Telephone:609-777-2600 (Main phone number)
Birth place:Newark, NJ
Undergraduate education: University of Delaware
Graduate education: Seton Hall University
Chris Christie was born in Newark, N.J., and now resides in Mendham. He earned a bachelor's in political science in 1984 from the University of Delaware and a law degree in 1987 from Seton Hall University.
Christie was a partner in the Cranford-based law firm of Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci. He was elected a Morris County freeholder in 1995, serving until 1997.
He served as New Jersey legal counsel for George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign. President Bush nominated him in 2001 to be the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, a position he served in until resigning to run for governor in 2008.
Christie was elected governor in 2009.
He and his wife, Mary, have four children.
Chris Christie has become a nationally known figure since he won the governorship in 2009, becoming the first Republican to win statewide election in 12 years.
In 2011, his announcement that he would not run for president in 2012 was major political news, coming after some key Republicans tried to draft him into the race. In 2012, he constantly fielded questions about whether he might be the Republican vice-presidential nominee. His stock answer was that he was happy running New Jersey, but he would listen if Mitt Romney asked.
Also in 2012, Christie pushed for a reconfiguration of New Jersey's higher education system and law changes to make tenure protections harder for teachers to earn and easier to lose.
Christie has attracted fans and critics with his blunt speech, including when Hurricane Irene was bearing down on New Jersey in 2011 and he told people during a news conference to take evacuation orders seriously. "Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park," he said.
Christie holds regular "town hall" meetings around the state where he takes questions from citizens and isn't afraid to raise his voice when people with opposing views want to argue with him.
In the spring of 2011, the theme for his events was the "New Jersey Comeback," and he boasted about growth in the number of private-sector jobs.
He said part of the reason for the job growth — which came even as the unemployment rate rose slightly — is his ability to balance a budget without raising any tax rates.
In each of his first three years as governor, Christie vetoed a Democratic lawmakers' plan to increase the income tax on households with incomes over $1 million. Democrats said they wanted to use the revenue to give property tax relief to lower-income homeowners.
Christie has largely gotten his way on major policies, even though Democrats have controlled the Legislature.
He signed laws to make government employees pay more for their health insurance and contribute more to their pensions, and to cap the growth of property taxes at 2 percent per year — with some exceptions — and to change a formerly labor-friendly arbitration process for contract disputes with public safety employees. His first budget made deep cuts in aid to public schools, and that led to widespread layoffs of educators.
While he maintains he has not raised taxes, he has cut property-tax rebates and an earned-income tax credit for the working poor — moves that opponents say do amount to tax hikes.
One ongoing battle with Democrats where Christie has not fared as well is his effort to make the state's famously activist state Supreme Court more conservative. Democratic senators have blocked his court nominees.
Christie's political exposure began when he was young. He was 14 years old when Tom Kean Sr., then a state assemblyman, gave a speech at his junior high school. Christie was so inspired he had his mother drive him to Kean's house nearby so he could ask to volunteer on Kean's gubernatorial campaign.
Christie was elected a Morris County freeholder at the age of 32, but lost his bid for re-election. He got involved early in George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign, which earned him a nomination from President Bush to serve as New Jersey's U.S. attorney, the state's top federal law enforcement job.
From 2001 until 2008, Christie oversaw as U.S. attorney two major terrorism convictions and the convictions of 130 public officials in corruption cases.
He won the governorship in 2009 against Democrat Jon Corzine even as Corzine outspent him by a ration of 2-to-1.
American Conservative Union Rating: Not rated
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: Not rated
Recent winning percentages for office currently held: 48% (2009).
(Last updated by Geoff Mulvihill on July 10, 2012.)