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Chris Christie is best known for his combative style as the Republican governor of traditionally Democratic New Jersey.
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Born in New Jersey in 1962, Chris Christie is the Republican governor of New Jersey, known for his combative style and for being popular with Republicans throughout the country. During his tenure as head of the state, Christie's long-running battle with powerful and relatively popular teachers' unions mobilized strong opposition to many of his policies, but he has won national acclaim for his ability to move legislation forward and to win over constituents.
"[My mother] told me that love without respect was always fleeting, but that respect could grow into real and lasting love. Now, of course, she was talking about women. But I have learned over time that it applies just as much to leadership. In fact, I think that advice applies to America more than ever today."
"We are the great-grandchildren of the men and women who broke their backs in the name of American ingenuity, the grandchildren of the greatest generation, the sons and daughters of immigrants, the brothers and sisters of everyday heroes, the neighbors of entrepreneurs and firefighters, teachers and farmers, veterans and factory workers and everyone in between who shows up, not just on the big days, or the good days, but on the bad days, and the hard days."
Christopher James Christie was born in Newark, New Jersey, on September 6, 1962, to Irish father Bill Christie and Sicilian mother Sondra Christie, and raised in nearby Livingston. "Dad was just a passenger; Mom was the driver," He later said. "She told me that love without respect was always fleeting, but that respect could grow into real and lasting love. Now, of course, she was talking about women. But I have learned over time that it applies just as much to leadership. In fact, I think that advice applies to America more than ever today."
Chris Christie has lived in the Garden State his whole life, barring the four years he spent studying political science at the University of Delaware. At Delaware, Christie met his future wife, Mary Pat Foster, whom he married in 1986. Upon graduation, Christie returned to New Jersey to study law at Seton Hall University, where he received his J.D. He was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1987.
Christie started his political career as a relatively brash freeholder in Morris County, where he was a moderate Republican who regularly supported pro-choice positions. An ambitious newcomer to state GOP politics, Christie almost immediately began laying plans for a run for State Assembly, even if it meant challenging well-established party regulars who stood in his way.
But Christie had not yet built up support within the party apparatus and ended up suffering a crushing defeat in that 1995 Assembly race; a fellow Republican who joined Christie's insurgent campaign and ended up sharing his also-ran status called the campaign "the worst political decision I ever made." Stung by this first electoral rebuke, Chris Christie did not run again for elective political office until 2009.
Instead, Christie became a lobbyist for energy companies in 1998, positioning him to become a top fundraiser for George W. Bush's Republican presidential campaign in 2000. In 2001, Bush nominated Christie to serve as United States Attorney for New Jersey, a nomination that did came with considerable controversy as Christie had little previous prosecutorial experience.
Many Democrats and some skeptical Republicans worried that Bush political guru Karl Rove had given Christie the job as the spoils for his fundraising efforts. However, once in office Christie changed many doubters' minds by spearheading aggressive investigations against corrupt public officials of both parties—amassing a record of 130 convictions against zero acquittals—while focusing on ethics as a primary theme of his tenure.
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