At a Glance
- Career History: U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey (2002 to 2010); Lawyer, Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci (1987 to 2001); Elected official, Morris County, New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders (1994 to 1998)
- Birthday: Sept. 6, 1962
- Hometown: Newark, N.J.
- Alma Mater: University of Delaware, B.A., 1984; Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D., 1987
- Spouse: Mary Pat Foster
- Religion: Catholic
- Office: 1719 Route 10 East, Suite 126, Parsippany, NJ 07054
- Web site
Path to Power
Christie is a born-and-bred New Jersey boy. He was born in Newark and grew up in Livingston, in northern Jersey. He left the state only for college. He worships Bruce Springsteen.
In Livingston, Christie grew up playing baseball (his position was catcher) and cowboys and Indians. (He always wanted to play the sheriff, his younger brother told The New York Times.) Christie's first foray into politics came when he was 14. Thomas Kean, who would later become the state's governor, came to speak at his high school, and Christie later convinced his mother to drive him to Kean's house, where he presented himself to the older man as a volunteer. Around the same time, Christie won his first elected office: class president. He participated in school government throughout his high school years.
As a Republican in an oft-blue state, Christie has focused on fiscal issues. He has skewered unions and pushed to cut state programs. But he also turned down an opportunity to campaign with Sarah Palin and has eschewed support from tea-party groups.
Christie has also made a point of using the full power of the office that he holds. He has vetoed the minutes of various state boards, thus overturning their decisions, and declined to reappoint a state Supreme Court justice, a power no other New Jersey governor has used.
Christie met and volunteered for Thomas Kean (R), the former New Jersey governor and 9/11 Commission co-chair, as a high schooler. Bill Palatucci, who now serves on the Republican National Committee, was one of Christie's first political mentors. Palatucci introduced Christie to President George W. Bush, for whose 2000 campaign Christie raised funds.
In New Jersey, Christie has forged relationships with key political figures across the state, including Democratic Party bosses like George Norcross and Newark Mayor Cory Booker. On a national level, he campaigned in 2010 for a series of Republican candidates, from Meg Whitman in California to John Kasich in Ohio and Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania.