Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Sandy Helped Turn the Tide for Christie

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Sandy Helped Turn the Tide for Christie

Article excerpt

When Governor Christie filed the paperwork a month after Superstorm Sandy hit to seek a second term, he said he had "a job to finish" and it wouldn't be right to leave.

On Thursday, Christie went a step further, saying for the first time in public that at the time of the storm he wasn't even sure if he'd run for reelection.

Speaking at a moving and storage warehouse in Moonachie on the third anniversary of the storm, Christie, who is now running for president with two years left in his second term as governor, subtly offered more specifics about his own political career when the 100- year storm was churning up the coast.

"The major reason that I ran for reelection in 2013 was because of Sandy. When Sandy hit on Oct. 29, 2012, I was completely undecided about whether to run for reelection as governor or not," Christie said. "And after Sandy hit and I saw the challenges that our state faced, Mary Pat and I had a long talk about whether I could with a clear conscience walk away, to not be the governor, to pursue other things in our lives, when our state was in the condition it was in. We made the decision together that we needed to come back and run because there was a job to finish, and I'm going to finish that job."

Christie did not take any questions after his remarks, and it was unclear exactly why he was undecided about seeking a second term or what other opportunities he might have pursued. His office and campaign either declined to comment or did not respond to messages seeking comment late Thursday.

But Christie's remarks about his thinking at the time add a new detail to a tumultuous time not only for him, but for residents across the state.

Christie, a Republican, was a popular governor before the storm hit. His lead on changes to the public employee pension system and tough-talking persona endeared him to members of his party, who speculated that he could be the best challenger against President Obama in 2012. Some even flew to New Jersey from Iowa, the early caucus state, to persuade him to seek the presidency. He declined and instead endorsed Mitt Romney.

Christie hit a historic high in popularity a month after Sandy, with an approval rating of 72 percent. …

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