Christie Keeps Fundraising for GOP Governors on Track

The money helps Republican governors in Florida, Georgia and other close races, while wins on Nov. 4 could help boost Christie's standing in his party after the Bridgegate controversy hurt his approval ratings.

The Republican Governors Association raised $21.5 million from July through the end of September, keeping plans on track for the group led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to spend more than $100 million to help gubernatorial candidates on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The third-quarter figures, released Wednesday by the RGA, increased the total 2014 haul to $72 million. Since taking over the group in November, Christie has raised $90 million.

The money is bolstering support for Republicans in Florida, Georgia, and a half-dozen other toss-up states with less than three weeks to go. Republicans are defending 22 of 36 governor's races on the ballot; 19 are held by Republican incumbents.

It also may provide a boost for Christie, a possible 2016 presidential contender, whose support has struggled in his home state and in one key early voting presidential state, Iowa, following last year's controversy over the politics surrounding George Washington Bridge lane closures in New Jersey.

"In this final march to Election Day, the RGA is in strong position,” Christie said in a statement. He said RGA fundraising "lends strength to our governors and candidates." RGA executive director Phil Cox said the group will use some of the money for "aggressively pushing back against the public sector unions and the extreme environmental lobby."

By the end of this week, aides said, Christie will have appeared in 35 states for RGA events. He campaigned Monday in Minnesota for Republican gubernatorial nominee Jeff Johnson and for Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and on Tuesday in Maine for Governor Paul LePage; he'll campaign on Thursday for Governor Rick Scott in Florida and Governor Nathan Deal in Georgia.

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