Politico

Christie nabs role courting big donors for Republican governors group


Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been tapped to co-chair a new fundraising program aimed at helping Republicans in 2022 governor races, a role that will allow him to maintain his national profile as he weighs a 2024 presidential bid.

Christie will help to spearhead the Republican Governors Association’s Victory 2022 Board, an enterprise devoted to expanding the committee’s donor network. He will be joined by Michelle Malek Olson, the finance chair for Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Glenn Youngkin and the daughter of Fred Malek, a major GOP financier who passed away in 2019.

Party officials say the board — which is set to meet this week in Aspen, Colo. — will be made up of people who are involved in the RGA’s leadership, and they will help recruit others to raise money. Given the size of the electoral map — there are 38 governors races on the ballot in 2021 and 2022 — top Republicans say they are looking for an avenue to raise more money.

The move comes as Christie openly ponders a 2024 presidential bid. During a May appearance on the conservative “Ruthless” podcast, Christie said that should he run, he would not defer to former President Donald Trump, who is weighing a comeback.

“I’m also not going to be one of these people who’s going to say, ‘Well, I’ll wait to see what President Trump’s going to do.’ I’m not going to defer to anyone if I decide that’s what I want to do and that I think I’m the best option for the party and for the country,” Christie said.

The RGA position is a potentially valuable one for Christie, giving him entrée to the party’s most sought-after donors as other would-be 2024 hopefuls begin to cultivate finance networks. Christie chaired the RGA following his 2013 reelection win, which preceded his unsuccessful 2016 presidential effort several years later.

The job will also keep him in the national spotlight. Christie has been a regular guest on ABC’s “This Week,” and recently announced he would be authoring a forthcoming book, “Republican Rescue: Saving the Party from Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden.” The book is to be published in November by Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

The former governor has taken other steps to keep himself in the public eye. In May, he spoke at a Texas donor conference that was organized by former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove. He has also headlined a virtual event for a New Hampshire conservative group and raised money for New York Rep. Andrew Garbarino, a Long Island Republican.

Christie did not respond to a request for comment.

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