Guest Author - Linda Sue Grimes
On November 3, 2009, former U. S. Attorney Christ Christie became the first Republican to be elected governor of New Jersey in twelve years. He won over the incumbent, Jon Corzien, by a margin of 49% to 44%. Christie states his pro-life position: "Hearing the strong heartbeat of my unborn daughter 14 years ago at 13-weeks gestation had a profound effect on me and my beliefs." He has pledged not to raise taxes and to lower them after his first year in office. He supports tax-credits for parents choosing to send their children to private school; his own children attend Catholic parochial schools.
Regarding crime, Christies has stated that as attorney general, he has always been tough on organized crime, but that "the Mafia is much more prominent on HBO than in New Jersey." He insists that organized crime does not require as much scrutiny as "public corruption, terrorism, violent street gangs, or human trafficking."
Service as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey
As U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Christopher Christie achieved guilty pleas and convictions of more than 130 public office holders, winning every case. He headed the legal team that bought down Hemant Lakhani, Indian rice raider and exporter, who tried to sell arms to terrorists, seeking surface-to-air missiles for shooting down American passenger planes.
Christie's service as prosecutor brought the governor-elect much praise from New Jersey media, as well as national news outlets. According to the Bergen Record, "All New Jerseyans owe him a huge debt of gratitude for refusing to accept this state's sleazy status quo." The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, "Christie has already done more good for New Jersey than some previous governors." Also, the New York Times sang his praises, claiming, "[Christie] won widespread admiration for his aggressive fight against political corruption."
As a Republican seeking the governorship in heavily Democratic controlled New Jersey, Christie faced an uphill battle. But the incumbent governor, Jon Corzine, had become widely unpopular, as residents faced the highest property tax in the nation, while unemployment continued to rise along with state budget deficits.
In July 2009, after a sting operation that netted 44 official operatives in Jersey City and Hoboken, a majority of which were Democrats, Christie charged that Corzine "lack[ed] the character and courage to reform" the corruption that had become so prevalent in New Jersey.
Christopher James Christie, who is of Italian and British ancestry, was born to Bill and Sondra Christie in Newark on September 6, 1962. He was raised in Livingston, New Jersey, and is a lifelong resident of the state. He graduated from Livingston High School. He then attended the University of Delaware graduating with the B.A. degree in political science in 1984. He graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law with the J.D. in 1987 and was admitted to the bar of New Jersey and the United State District Court of New Jersey in 1987.
Christie married Mary Pat Foster in 1986; they had attended the University of Delaware together. Mary was an investment banker and worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. The Christies have four children, Andrew, Sarah, Patrick, and Bridget. They reside in Mendham Township.
Christopher J. Christie, New York Times, Thursday, November 12, 2009
Speaker's Biography: Chris Christie, Republican Candidate for Governor of New Jersey - The State of NJ, Wharton University of Pennsylvania,