Chris Christie's Accomplishments as Governor of New Jersey

List of Accomplishments and Timeline of Offices Held

Chris Christie picture
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is said to be a potential presidential candidate in 2016. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News

Chris Christie's accomplishments as governor of New Jersey are the subject of much debate not only in his home state but among Republican voters who cast him aside in the 2016 presidential primaries. Christie has claimed among his accomplishments fiscal conservatism and a balanced budget in New Jersey, sweeping education reform, and his being a plainspoken everyman who once was the most popular elected official in his party in the nation at one time.

"I have a Legislature that's overwhelmingly Democratic. Yet, we've accomplished balancing two budgets without raising taxes. We've now created 60,000 new private sector jobs. We've made government smaller. We've made it smarter. We've made it less expensive for people," Christie said in 2012. 

Christie's most well known accomplishment, though, is perhaps his handling of Hurricane Sandy's devastating effects on the state in 2012.

Still, voters in Christie's home state have been unsold on his work. Three out of four New Jersey residents surveyed in a 2015 public-opinion poll said Christie could "point to only minor or no real accomplishments since taking office." The poll, conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, found that "most New Jerseyans believe time is about the only thing that’s really advanced over the past few years." 

Nonetheless, Christie is often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate and had some early success in the 2016 Republican primaries. Though his political style has been described as being both aggressive and occasionally brash, it paled in comparison to the bombastic Donald Trump, who won the election.

Christie began his political career at the county government level in New Jersey and ascended to national prominence after helping to raise money for George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign and unseating Jon Corzine, a well funded New Jersey governor, in 2009. He is up for re-election in the 2013 elections.

Here's a summary of Christie's accomplishments in politics.

County Government

Christie's first elected position was as a freeholder in Morris County, N.J., for a three-year term from 1995 through 1997. He lost a re-election bid in 1997, and had lost an earlier run for the state General Assembly.

He lost his 1995 re-election campaign


On of the most little-known details about Christie's political career is his short stint as a lobbyist. Christie worked as a lobbyist at the state level in New Jersey from 1999 to 2001. Published reported indicate he lobbied state lawmakers on behalf of energy companies.


Christie was a major fundraiser for Republican George W. Bush's campaign for president in 2000. Christie first got involve in the former Texas's governor's campaign by volunteering as an attorney, authors Bob Ingle and Michael G. Symons write in Chris Christie: The Inside Story of His Rise to Power. Christie and his allies helped to raise more than $500,000 for the Bush campaign, the authors wrote.

U.S. Attorney

Bush nominated Christie for U.S. attorney in New Jersey after taking office in 2001, a move that generated some criticism given Christie's work for the campaign. Cynics believed Christie had been given the job as a reward for helping to get Bush elected.

Once confirmed for the post by the U.S. Senate, Christie quickly took on public corruption in New Jersey, a state whose politicians are often cited as being among the most corrupt in the nation. Christie often cites his convictions of more than 130 public officials of both major political parties, and the fact that he did not lose any of the cases he initiated against public corruption.

Christie served as a U.S. attorney in New Jersey from January 2002 through November 2008.

Governor of New Jersey

Christie first won election as New Jersey governor on Nov. 3, 2009. He beat incumbent Gov. Jon S. Corzine, a Democrat, and Independent candidate Chris Daggett. Christie became the 55th governor of the Garden State on Jan. 19, 2010. His tenure has been notable for his work closing the state's multibillion-dollar budget deficit, battles with public school-teacher unions, and controversial budget cuts.

Rumored 2012 Presidential Candidate

Christie was widely believed to have been strongly considering a run for president in the 2012 election, but announced he would not enter the race in October 2011. "New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me," he said at a news conference called to announce his decision. Christie endorsed 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for president a short time later.

Almost 2012 Vice Presidential Candidate

Christie reportedly was Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's first choice for a running mate in the 2012 election. The political news source reported that Romney advisers believed Christie had already been offered the job. "Mitt liked him because he saw him as a street fighter," a Romney official told Politico. "It’s the kind of political mentality that Romney doesn’t have, but admires. He wanted someone who could play the Chicago game on its own terms."

2016 Republican Presidential Hopeful

Christie entered the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in June 2015. "America is tired of hand-wringing and indecisiveness and weakness in the Oval Office. 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." 

But he and other Republican presidential hopefuls underestimated the force that was Trump; Christ had, in fact, been rumored to be in line for a Cabinet position with the billionaire real estate developer. He quit the presidential race in February 2016 and backed Trump. “While running for president, I tried to reinforce what I have always believed: that speaking your mind matters, that experience matters, that competence matters and that it will always matter in leading our nation. That message was heard by and stood for by a lot of people, but just not enough, and that’s O.K.," Christie said.