The rivalry between Democrat Dannel P. Malloy and Republican Chris Christie — already chock full of zingers between the governors of Connecticut and New Jersey over taxes, jobs and the economies of their respective states — is getting ready to escalate.
Heading to Connecticut Wednesday for a big-ticket fundraiser for his re-election campaign, Christie is next in line to become the chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association should he win this November in the Garden State as predicted by pollsters and pundits.
“So he’ll be tasked with turning blue states to red,” said state GOP Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr., who is expected to get an audience with Christie. “I’ve been told that Connecticut is way up there on the list.”
Wrestling matriarch and former two-time GOP Senate candidate Linda McMahon will host Christie at her Greenwich compound for the $3,800 per person fundraiser. The host committee includes private equity manager and former U.S. ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley, who is eying a rematch with Malloy next year after losing to him by 6,500 votes in 2010.
A National Public Radio analysis listed Malloy, who is in his first term and is a former longtime Stamford mayor, as one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the nation.
At the Republican National Committee’s summer meeting in Boston, Republican leaders from Connecticut cozied up with Christie to try to enlist his help in the 2014 race in Connecticut. Christie is also said to be entertaining a bid for the White House in 2016.