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Former Gov. Chris Christie, right, and Richard Bagger, a former state senator and his first chief of staff. Photo courtesy of Christie 55 Solutions.

Bagger joined Christie firm in January

Ex-governor reunites with his first chief of staff to build full-service consulting operation

By David Wildstein, February 16 2020 8:29 pm

Overlooked in January: former State Sen. Richard Bagger (R-Westfield) has joined a consulting firm headed by former Gov. Chris Christie.

Bagger served as Christie’s chief of staff from 2010 to 2012.

Christie 55 Solutions represents corporate, government and association clients, with a focus on crisis management and communications, disaster response and recovery, international trade, government relations and public policy strategy, gaming, health care, and financial services.

The firm has not registered as a lobbyist at the federal or state level, or with the Department of Justice as a foreign agent, records show.

Bagger will serve as executive director of the three-person firm, which includes the former governor and former First Lady Mary Pat Christie.

After leaving Christie’s staff, Bagger ran government relations for pharmaceutical maker Celgene until the company was sold to Bristol-Myers Squibb late last year.  He is a former public affairs chief for Pfizer and served in both houses of the legislature.

“Rich brings a wealth of public policy and political experience to our firm. He has deep health care sector expertise and unparalleled corporate public affairs experience at the state, federal and international levels. He is an important addition to the firm and will bring additional value to our clients.”

Bagger had taken a leave of absence from Celgene in 2016 to serve as executive director of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team.  When Trump fired Christie from the post two days after the election, Bagger was let go as well.

He is currently on holdover status as a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Bagger is not scheduled to file an updated financial disclosure statement for 2020 until April.

The announcement of Bagger received no media attention when it was made six weeks ago.  Only New Jersey Business, a magazine published by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, ran a copy of the press release.

The firm filed as a New Jersey company in February 2018, a few weeks after Christie left office, records show.

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