NJ.com

Christie N.J. Fundraiser Brings $1.3M For 2016 Campaign

NJ.com — Wednesday, August 5, 2015

By Matt Arco | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

ASBURY PARK — Gov. Chris Christie rallied his longtime New Jersey supporters Tuesday night, as they helped raise more than $1.3 million for his presidential campaign.

The Republican governor, speaking in Asbury Park Convention Hall, told his home state residents he plans to "bring a little New Jersey to the campaign," promising to "kick hope and change" out of the White House in 2016.

"There's only one appropriate way to start this night given where we are. I bring greetings from Asbury Park!" Christie said, mentioning the title of Bruce Springsteen's debut album.

Christie, in his element before the enthusiastic crowd of about 500 supporters, rocked the house at the convention hall where he celebrated his 2013 election victory before a crowd of easily twice as many supporters.

But the people who gathered in the hall, ponying up at least $250 for a ticket, hung on to every word Christie said about being proud of his home state.

"I wear this pin everyday no matter what state I'm in," said Christie, calling attention to the New Jersey-shaped pin he always wears on his suit jacket.

He added: "On Inauguration Day January 20, 2017, we will proudly wear this pin on the steps of the Capitol!"

The governor shared stories from the campaign trail, joking with New Jersey residents that when he tells voters in Iowa and New Hampshire that he's the product of an Irish father and Sicilian mother that people "gasp," he said.

But not in New Jersey, Christie joked.

Before Christie took the stage, Jon Hanson, his New Jersey finance co-chairman, urged the longtime Christie backers to keep supporting the governor, saying their efforts are crucial to Christie's victory.

"This is the kick off event," said Jon Hanson, Christie's New Jersey

"We thank all of you for your support," he said. "However, the governor needs you to continue your efforts."

He stressed: "Tonight is the start. If you go home and you don't do anymore, we will not have enough money for the governor to get out his message, so I ask all of you who have been with the governor since 2009, please double down."

Meanwhile, outside between 100 and 200 protesters gathered across the street from the hall ahead of the event shouting at passersby to drop their support of Christie. A small plane flew overhead in circled around the hall dragging a banner in tow that read: "Chris Christie makes us sick: #earnedsickdaysforNJ."

The hash tag was a call to support for earned sick day legislation, which the state Legislature has acted on in the Assembly but that Christie said he wouldn't support in its current language.

"Don't waste your money!" one man shouted as people converged on the convention hall.

The bulk of the protesters were members of the state's largest teachers' union, New Jersey Education Association, and the Democratic aligned New Jersey Citizen Action, which carried a "resign now!!!" banner.

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