New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will join an already crowded field when he officially declares his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination Tuesday at his high school alma mater in the town of Livingston.
Christie was first elected in 2009 in the predominantly Democratic state, and quickly gained national attention for his blunt, often combative interactions with residents and reporters in town hall meetings and press events. He was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2013, and was widely considered to be a leading contender for the 2016 presidential race.
But Christie's political fortunes have plummeted ever since the revelation of the so-called "Bridgegate" scandal, when three of his aides ordered the partial shutdown of a busy bridge in retaliation against a local mayor who refused to support Christie's re-election bid. His approval numbers in New Jersey have plummeted, and potential big-money donors for his White House campaign have been scared off by the scandal.
Christie is the 14th candidate to enter the Republican presidential race, going against the likes of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, billionaire mogul Donald Trump, U.S. senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who announced his candidacy last week.
Two other sitting governors, Ohio's John Kasich and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, are expected to formally announce their White House bids in the coming weeks.