A pair of potential GOP presidential candidates will take the reins of the Republican Governors Association in 2013 and 2014.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will lead the committee in 2013, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will take over in 2014, assuming he wins his 2013 reelection campaign, according to aides familiar with the committee’s plans.
The news was first reported by CNN’s Peter Hamby.
The Republican Governors Association is a great means for a governor to build a national fundraising apparatus in advance of a presidential campaign. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry both headed up the organization in advance of their 2012 presidential campaigns, while former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty served as vice chairman of the RGA.
Christie serves in the No. 2 role, a post that generally leads directly to the chairmanship when the chairman (currently Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell) moves on. But Christie faces his own reelection bid in 2013.
The setup suggests that Christie, who hasn’t committed to seeking reelection, is indeed going to run again. It also suggests that Republicans believe the popular Christie will win, despite his state’s blue lean.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) is reportedly considering challenging Christie, but no other big-name Democrats have stepped forward with just 13 months left until Election Day 2013.
On the Democratic side, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is seen as a likely candidate to replace current chairman and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley next year.