It's official: New Jersey governor and rising GOP star Chris Christie will seek re-election in his state's gubernatorial race in 2013, an adviser to the governor told ABC News.
Christie filed his papers with election officials today. Although Republicans and Democrats in the state had expected Christie to seek re-election, the governor had been coy about his plans in recent weeks.
"Maybe I'll wake up three or four weeks from now and decide I'm going to do it or I'm not going to do it, and then I'll just tell you when I make that decision," he told a reporter for CBS Philly earlier this month.
The Republican governor is popular in the heavily Democratic state, and he earned high marks for his handling of super storm Sandy in late October from his constituents.
A poll from Quinnipiac University released earlier this month showed Christie earning the highest marks in his response to the storm when 36 percent of those surveyed said that they believed Christie did the best job responding to super storm Sandy. President Obama received the second highest marks with 22 percent of those surveyed approving of his job performance. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg rounded out the group with 15 percent and 12 percent respectively.
It's not yet known who will challenge Christie. The presumed front-runner for the Democratic nomination, and the candidate who is seen by many in the party as the best chance to unseat Christie, is Newark Mayor Cory Booker. But Booker has not yet made an announcement about his plans.
Regardless of who challenges him, polling has indicated that Christie is well-positioned to keep his job.
The latest polling, also from Quinnipiac University, measuring Christie in a hypothetical match-up against Booker shows the governor with a 7 point lead, 47 percent to 40 percent. The poll indicates that Booker is still an unknown commodity to many. His favorability ratings show him with a 49 percent favorable rating, 11 percent unfavorable, and 38 percent saying they haven't heard enough about him.
Christie comparatively is very well known and 52 percent see him favorably, 42 percent unfavorably, and only 4 percent say they haven't heard enough about him, according to the poll.
The Republican Governors Association hailed Christie's decision to run again.
"Chris Christie exemplifies the type of results-oriented leadership New Jersey residents expect from their governor," the statement said. "Thanks to his bold leadership, Governor Christie is well-positioned to secure a second term and continue the progress New Jersey has made since he took office."
Christie's star power within his party, the potential for a 2016 White House bid and the off-year election date ensure that in the coming year this race will be followed very closely.