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Christie Names Kevin O’Dowd New State AG

Governor Chris Christie (R) announced that his Chief of Staff will become the new State Attorney General at a Statehouse press conference.

Governor Chris Christie announces current Chief of Staff Kevin O'Dowd will become New Jersey's next Attorney General and Regina Egea will become the new Chief of Staff while at the Statehouse in Trenton
Governor Chris Christie announces current Chief of Staff Kevin O’Dowd will become New Jersey’s next Attorney General and Regina Egea will become the new Chief of Staff while at the Statehouse in Trenton. . (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

Kevin O’Dowd will take over the from John Hoffman, who stepped into the role when Christie named Jeff Chiesa interim U.S. Senator following the death of Frank Lautenberg.

Hoffman was praised by Christie and said the decision was not a reflection of his work. Minutes after the announcement, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) the “ultimate professional. He is courteous, responsive and willing to listen, even in areas where we have vigorously disagreed.”

Regina Eaga, Christie’s current Director of the Authorities Unit, is named the new chief of staff.

O’Dowd called his nomination a tremendous honor and opportunity and thanked the governor for his continued confidence in him. He is a former assistant U.S. attorney who worked for Christie when he was U.S. attorney. O’Dowd was chief of the securities and health care fraud unit.

A Number of Subjects Addressed

Governor Chris Christie answers press questions at the Statehouse
Governor Chris Christie answers press questions at the Statehouse (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

The governor addressed a number of issues during his press conference including Obamacare, the controversy over the George Washington Bridge traffic delay in Fort Lee and his support for a possible gubernatorial candidate in New York State.

He called State Senator Loretta Weinberg (D) “obsessed” with events leading to massive traffic getting onto the GWB from Fort Lee and faulted her for “bringing home the bacon” in the form of 3 lanes dedicated to residents.

Christie also clarified comments about supporting New York Republican Rob Astorino for a possible run for governor. He says that at the Republican Governor’s Association meeting he did talk to Astorino but will not support a candidate until a nominee is selected. ”He didn’t seek support” during their conversation explained Christie. “We didn’t talk about politics much at all except how its related to the family”

The New York Post’s Frederic U. Dicker reported that Christie denied to Cuomo in a phone call he offered support for Astorino.

Christie said he disagrees with Supreme Court Justice John Roberts’s classification of the Obamacare mandate as a tax and repeated his belief that it’s unconstitutional.

The governor said he will pay close attention to the National Transportation Safety Administration’s investigation into the Metro-North derailment in the Bronx and would withhold judgement on what lessons could be learned by NJ Transit from the incident.

Christie quickly responded to a question about whether or not he spoke to Governor Tom Kean about comments that he was upset about his dissing of Kean’s son. “I have great respect for the governor and no we haven’t talked,” responded Christie before moving to another question.

The governor has no plans to expand New Jersey’s medical marijuana program calling it a “narrow issue” that a few groups want to lead to its legalization.

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