New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will give Maryland Republicans a boost from the national party this month when he appears as headline speaker at a fund-raiser for Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan.
Christie, this year's chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will become the first national GOP figure to show the flag for Hogan. The event is Sept. 17 in Bethesda.
In a statement released by this campaign, Hogan said Christie and the GOP governors "recognize that we are in a position to win this year."
"The failed policies of Anthony Brown have crushed struggling families and small businesses. People everywhere are realizing that we have a real opportunity to win this race and bring real change to Maryland," Hogan said.
Hogan's campaign has touted a poll commissioned by the Republican Party showing him within 3 points of Brown, the Democratic lieutenant governor. Brown's camp has dismissed the poll, saying it is out of line with independent surveys in heavily Democratic Maryland.
Of Christie's visit, Brown campaign manager Justin Schall said: "Christie's support reminds voters of the failed Republican agenda Hogan is so desperate to hide."
Once considered a leading contender for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, Christie has faced controversy stemming from the closing last year of several lanes of the George Washington Bridge with no apparent justification. Christie has not ruled out launching a presidential campaign.
While the fund-raiser was announced by Hogan's campaign committee, the money would go to a Hogan Victory Fund set up by the Maryland Republican Party, Hogan spokesman Adam Dubitsky said. Under Maryland law, Hogan can't raise money for his own committee because he has accepted $2.6 million in public financing from the state.