Former Gov. Chris Christie will headline a fundraiser in Cedar Grove tonight for Matt Mowers, his former staffer who is now seeking the Republican nomination for Congress in New Hampshire.
The event at Il Tulipano is expected to be a reunion of support for many members of the old Christie gang who are being assembled to help fund Mowers, who has a genuine shot of becoming a congressman.
Mowers has served in the Governor’s intergovernmental affairs office and was working on the 2013 re-election campaign when he accepted a post as executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party.
Exporting Mowers to New Hampshire was all part of a plan to help Christie get a foothold into the first-in-the-nation primary two years early. A top Christie advisor with relationships in New Hampshire had strongly lobbied then-New Hampshire GOP State chair Jennifer Horn to hire him.
The prospect of Mowers getting that job was enough for the Christie re-election campaign to give him the first weekend in October off so that he could pursue the position.
“I’m going to meet with them on Sunday. Going to drive up Sat(urday) night and stay up that way likely. Will probably be out of commission for most of Sunday though,” Mowers said in an e-mail obtained by the New Jersey Globe. “She said they are currently down to myself and a NH person.”
Horn notified the Christie team three weeks later that Mowers had gotten the job.
“I am already very impressed with his approach to preparing for the position,” Horn wrote in an email a few days before the general election. “I am confident he is going to do an outstanding job for the NHGOP.”
In the same email, Horn said she would “love a chance to talk” about Christie’s future political plans.
Horn said that “New Hampshire is eager to welcome him and I have an exciting event in early 2014” that should would like Christie to attend.
Mowers ran Christie’s New Hampshire primary campaign.
He later joined the 2016 Trump campaign as National Field Coordinator & Battleground States Director.
Mowers served at the U.S. Department of State as a senior White House advisor and as chief of staff and chief policy officer in the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy.
He began his political career as a teenager working for State Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Demarest). He worked on Christie’s staff in the governor’s office of intergovernmental affairs.
If he wins the GOP Pappas is the incumbent in New Hampshire’s 1st district. He won an open seat by a 54%-45% margin in 2018 following the retirement of Rep. Carol Shea Porter.
He’s already been named to the NRCC Young Guns program and has secured hugely important endorsements from key local party leaders and activists.
Trump won the district by a 48%-46% margin in 2016.
Mowers is the second New Jerseyan this month to run for office in the Granite State.
Rick Merkt, a former six-term assemblyman from Morris County who beat Christie in a 1995 primary and then ran against him for governor, is running for New Hampshire State Representative.
Several former Christie aides have already won public office in the two years since the administration came to a close, including Bridgewater mayor Matt Moensch and Monmouth County freeholder Nick LaRocco.