New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will join the crowded Republican 2016 field on Tuesday, two people with knowledge of his plans said.
Christie, 52, will cap months of speculation with an announcement in his hometown of Livingston, said the people, who asked for anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak before his speech.
While Christie previously said he hadn’t made up his mind about a run, he’s spent recent months making policy speeches and holding meetings in key primary states including New Hampshire and Iowa. He’s traveled as “honorary chairman” of Leadership Matters for America, his political action committee.
Samantha Smith, a committee spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
The Republican will join a field that includes more than a dozen candidates vying for the party’s nomination in 2016. Christie turned down calls from business and political leaders to run four years ago and has struggled to recapture that momentum after allies created a massive traffic snarl as political retribution for a mayor.
His approval among New Jersey registered voters fell to a low of 30 percent in a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released June 23. In New Hampshire, which has the first-in- the-nation primary, Christie got 5 percent of the vote in a Suffolk University poll released the same day.
Matthew Hale, who teaches political science at Seton Hall University in South Orange, said the announcement’s timing makes sense as the Democrats who control the Legislature were poised to approve a budget today that would raise taxes. Christie is expected to veto those provisions.
“He’s got to get in, and the window is closing with so many people in the race,” Hale said in an interview. “He can stand up and say: ‘I’m the Republican keeping these crazy Democrats in check.’ That’s a plausible line.”
His plans for a campaign announcement were reported earlier Thursday by WNYC radio.
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