New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, enjoying record approval ratings for his response to Hurricane Sandy, said he plans to seek a second term.
Christie, a 50-year-old Republican whose term expires in a year, said his campaign treasurer filed papers today with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission. He said the move followed a conversation this weekend with his wife Mary Pat and his four children.
“I’m in this race and I’m in it to win,” he said to applause in a Port Monmouth fire house, where he was thanking Sandy first responders and volunteers.
The governor’s job approval rating surged to 77 percent after Sandy, from 56 percent before the Oct. 29 storm, according to a poll released today by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind polling center.
The storm swept ashore near Atlantic City with hurricane-force winds and surging flood waters, leaving 37 people dead in New Jersey and blacking out as many as 2.7 million in the state. Christie crisscrossed affected areas, giving updates on the recovery and embracing President Barack Obama, a Democrat, following a tour of the damage. A Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released Nov. 21 also showed a Sandy bounce for Christie.
“Because of everything that’s happened, the public needs to know I’m in this for the long haul,” Christie said. “It would be wrong to leave now. We have a job to do and that job won’t be done by next year.”
Christie, often mentioned as a potential 2016 presidential candidate, also said he’s “more intent than ever” in seeking a tax cut. Small businesses harmed by Sandy need a break, he said.