New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) helped raise more than $400,000 Wednesday to aid the Maryland gubernatorial bid of Republican Larry Hogan, according to organizers of a lunchtime fundraiser in Bethesda.
Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, told Hogan supporters that he believes a Republican can win in Maryland, despite the strong advantage Democrats have in voter registration, according to excerpts of his remarks provided by the Hogan campaign.
“I am here because there are dozens of pundits and supposedly smart people in this state who are going to tell you over the next 48 days that Larry can’t win,” Christie said. “And I am here to tell you that if that were true then we wouldn’t have a two-term Republican governor in New Jersey either.”
Hogan, an Anne Arundel County businessman, faces Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) in the November election.
Money raised at Wednesday’s event, which was closed to the press, is flowing into the “Hogan Victory Fund,” an account set up by the Maryland Republican Party to promote the bid of the party’s nominee.
Hogan, who is participating in the state’s public financing system, has been given a nearly $2.6 million grant by the state and is not allowed to raise additional money directly into his campaign. But under Maryland election law, the state party can raise up to another $1.8 million to assist Hogan in his bid.
Christie remains one of the top stars among Republicans nationally, despite a high-profile investigation into the closing last year of George Washington Bridge lanes in New Jersey for what appeared to be politically motivated reasons.
In a statement, Brown’s campaign manager said, “Chris Christie is backing Larry Hogan because they both share the same conservative Republican agenda that would harm Maryland families.”