Born on September 6, 1962, in Newark, New Jersey, Chris Christie is the Republican governor of New Jersey. His father, Bill Christie, was Irish and his mother, Sondra Christie, was Sicilian. They raised Christie in nearby Livingston, New Jersey. Chris Christie graduated from the University of Delaware in 1984 and married Mary Pat Foster in 1986. He returned to New Jersey and began studying law at Seton Hall University in 1987.
His father Bill was just “a passenger” and his mother Sondra was “the driver” of his family. His mother’s influence was great in his life. Sondra’s philosophy of “love with respect” is still appropriate to present American leadership, according to Christie. According to Christie, “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."
From Unsuccessful Politician to Flourishing Prosecutor
The beginning of his political career was upsetting, as he suffered a crushing defeat in the 1995 Assembly race. This defeat kept him away from active political participation for the next 15 years. His career as a lobbyist was notable, however. Christie became a lobbyist for energy companies in 1998 and became a top fundraiser for George W. Bush’s 2000 election campaign. President Bush rewarded Christie by nominating him as United States Attorney for New Jersey in 2001. His appointment sparked controversy both from skeptical Republicans and alarmed Democrats. But Christie surprised everyone. His aggressive investigations against corrupt public officials of both parties changed the minds of those who initially opposed his appointment. He served as a fair-minded prosecutor for around eight years and earned fame as a capable attorney.
He resigned from the office in December of 2008 to run for governor of the state of New Jersey. He won the election with a 49-45 margin. Ever since, Christie’s popularity has been increasing. He became popular nationally because of his ability to push legislation forward by working as the head of a comparatively liberal state with a Democratic legislature. He eventually was elected again with more than 60% of votes.
He was initially assumed to be a contender for the 2012 GOP nomination, but he refused to join the race for the presidency. He quipped, "I'm a kid from Jersey who has people asking him to run for president…I'm thrilled by it. I just don't want to do it." In June of 2015, Christie officially announced his ambition to join the 2016 presidential race. He explained his reason by saying, "We need to have strength and decision-making and authority back in the Oval Office and that is why today I am proud to announce my candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States of America."