NJ Gov. Christie says he plans to seek 2nd term

Associated Press Modified: November 26, 2012 at 4:46 pm •  Published: November 26, 2012
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The prospect of Christie seeking a second term became likely after he spurned overtures by Republican bigwigs to enter the 2012 presidential contest and more so when he later ruled himself out as vice presidential material with a resounding "I love the job I have now." Buzz over a Christie 2016 run has become muted since the governor boarded Marine One with Obama.

So far, no one has stepped forward to challenge him as governor. Several Democrats, most prominently Newark Mayor Cory Booker, have been thinking aloud about running for their party's nomination.

Christie said he hadn't spoken to Booker except by text in about 10 days and didn't know the mayor's political intentions.

"My expectation is, Anybody who wants to run is going to run," Christie said. "We only know one person who's running, and that is me. All the rest are going to have to make their own judgments."

Christie's reputation for bluntness and penchant for confrontation have made him a YouTube sensation and sometimes obscured policy changes he has championed.

With the help of Democrats who control both houses of the state Legislature, Christie took on public worker unions, enacting sweeping pension and health benefits changes that cost workers more and are designed to shore up the underfunded public worker retirement and health care systems long term. He also enacted a 2 percent property tax cap with few loopholes to try to slow the annual growth rate of property taxes, already the highest in the nation at an average of $7,519 when adjusted for rebates.

Christie's education reforms have been slower to accomplish, and Democrats have refused to budge on his signature issue for this year, a phased-in 10 percent tax cut. With tax collections underperforming the administration's projections and storm rebuilding threatening to eat further into revenues, Democrats are unlikely to waver on their position that the state can't afford the cut.

Christie's handling of the state's struggling economy, a potential Achilles heel, has taken a back seat to the storm recovery. But unemployment remains a stubborn 9.7 percent, or 1.6 percent above the national jobless rate, and it's too early to tell whether tax collections will rebound to match administration projections for the fiscal year that began in July.