Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is expected to launch a Republican presidential campaign next week in New Hampshire.
Christie, who also ran in 2016, is planning to make the announcement at a town hall Tuesday evening at Saint Anselm College's New Hampshire Institute of Politics, according to a person familiar with his thinking who spoke on condition of anonymity to confirm Christie's plans.
The timing, which was first reported by Axios, comes after several longtime Christie advisers started a super political action committee to support his expected candidacy.
The Associated Press had previously reported that Christie was expected to enter the race "imminently."
Christie critical of Trump
Christie has cast himself as the only potential candidate willing to aggressively take on former President Donald Trump, the current front-runner for the nomination. Christie, a former federal prosecutor, was a longtime friend and adviser to Trump, but broke with Trump over his refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election. Christie has since emerged as a leading and vocal critic of the former president.
Christie, who is currently polling at the bottom of the pack, dropped out of the 2016 presidential race a day after finishing sixth in New Hampshire's primary.
In addition to Trump, Christie would be joining a GOP field that includes Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and biotech entrepreneur and "anti-woke" activist Vivek Ramaswamy.
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum is expected to announce his candidacy on June 7, according to two GOP operatives. And former Vice President Mike Pence is also expected to launch a campaign soon.
'I'm not a paid assassin'
Allies believe that Christie, who has been working as an ABC News analyst, has a unique ability to communicate. They say his candidacy could help prevent a repeat of 2016, when Trump's rivals largely refrained from directly attacking the New York businessman, wrongly assuming he would implode on his own.
Christie has also said repeatedly that he will not run if he does not see a path to victory. "I'm not a paid assassin," he recently told Politico.
While Christie is expected to spend much of his time in early-voting New Hampshire, as he did in 2016, advisers believe the path to the nomination runs through Trump, and they envision an unconventional, national campaign for Christie with a focus on garnering media attention and directly engaging with Trump.