|Christl Leong |||Oct 15, 2014 11:28 AM EDT|
(Photo : REUTERS) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
With only three weeks left before the November elections, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has baffled fellow-Republicans for refusing to stump for GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino.
In his capacity as chief of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), Christie has publicly campaigned in support of other candidates including Pennsylvania incumbent Tom Corbett. In fact, Christie had just travelled to the state to visit the Valley Forge Military Academy in Corbett's behalf.
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However, the same cannot be said in New York, where Republican aspirant is up against Democrat incumbent Andrew Cuomo.
Christie has been glaringly absent in spots for Astorino, the latter's spokesperson Bill O'Reilly said, adding that no support has yet been received from the RGA head.
Christie has never explicitly clarified his reluctance to back Astorino apart from implying the gubernatorial candidate stood no chance of winning against Cuomo.
If the race in New York becomes more competitive, then I'll consider campaigning in the State. But with the way things are now at the polls, it seems there are other more competitive races that need my help, Christie said in July while at a campaign stint in Connecticut for Republican candidate Tom Foley.
Political analysts speculate Christie's disinclination to get involved in the New York race is tied to his loyalty to Cuomo over the Bridgegate Scandal.
Astorino seemed to think so too as he lambasted Christie during a radio interview where he accused the New Jersey governor of signing a deal with his New York counterpart, said Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray.
Astorino is no longer expecting the influential New Jersey governor to back him, O'Reilly said.
Be that as it may, other high-ranking Republicans have stepped up to fill in the void left by the RGA head's absence.
Recently, former New Jersey governor Christie Whitman emailed a letter titled, "A Plan for New York Revival" to party supporters to raise money for Astorino's campaigns.
Unlike Christie, Whitman believes Astorino still has a chance, claiming that momentum and the supporters' passion were on his side.
Other Republican gubernatorial volunteers for the Astorino include presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former New York Gov. George Pataki, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
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