While technically not yet a presidential candidate, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is taking key steps that for all practical reasons make him one.
Christie, a Republican, has filed paperwork to form a leadership political action committee called Leadership Matters for America, which will allow him to pay for travel and hire staff. In so doing, he joins former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Texas governor Rick Perry who already have leadership PACs.
Matt Mowers, who resigned last week as executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party, will head up the PAC’s efforts in New Hampshire. Phil Valenziano, former political director for Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, will head up efforts there. In addition, key staffers from Christie’s time at the Republican Governors Association will also join the finance efforts.
Christie is expected to begin raising money for the PAC immediately. He spoke at the Iowa Freedom Summit on Saturday and is scheduled to appear in New Hampshire next month.James Pindell can be reached at James.Pindell@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell.