Even though New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration is waist deep in allegations that his office abused its power, the Republican is showing he still has fundraising prowess.
The Republican Governors Association, which Christie chairs, announced on Thursday that it raked in $26.6 million in the second quarter of 2014, the biggest ever second quarter in the group’s history.
The RGA also confirmed to msnbc that it has more than $70 million cash on hand, the most the RGA has ever had in its history. Since Christie was elected chairman of the group last November, he has helped raise a total of $60 million.
“The RGA has never been in such a strong financial position. It is a tribute to the sound policy, good governance and real results coming from states with Republican governors,” Christie in a statement statement.
When Christie won the coveted position as head of the RGA, many viewed it as a stepping stone for a 2016 presidential run. But since then, the governor’s popularity has taken a hit after his administration was rocked by allegations that some of his staffers and allies closed lanes on the George Washington Bridge last September – seemingly for political retribution. Christie has denied any prior knowledge of the scheme, but his administration remains under state and federal investigation over the lane closures.
Hoboken, N.J. Mayor Dawn Zimmer has also alleged that Christie allies threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy relief money if Zimmer, a Democrat, didn’t back a development project in her city. The governor has denied the charges.
A Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll released last month shows Christie’s approval rating has stabilized at 50%.
Christie has been criss-crossing the country stumping on behalf of Republican governors up for re-election. Of the 36 states that have 2014 gubernatorial elections, 22 are held by Republicans, while 14 are held by Democrats.
Christie was recently in New Hampshire and has another trip planned both there and to Iowa this summer on behalf of the RGA. The visits to the political heavyweight states have generated buzz that Christie is seriously considering a bid for the Oval Office.
The governor has said he doesn’t intend to make a decision on running for commander-in-chief until a year from now.