New Jersey taxpayers paid more than $600,000 to cover the cost of a security detail that traveled with Gov. Chris Christie as he sought the Republican presidential nomination, according to a published report.
Citing administration documents, The Record reports the bill for state police protection in 2015 brings Christie's total security costs to $1.76 million since 2010, his first year in office. A large portion of those costs have come in his second term, as he traveled heavily as chairman of the Republican Governors Association and in preparation for his White House campaign.
The newspaper obtained the documents through an Open Public Records Act request.
The 190 full days Christie spent out of state in 2015 — plus another 71 partial days — were the most expensive of his six-year tenure, at about $614,000. And the costliest period of last year came in the final quarter, when Christie spent 32 days out of state in the thick of his campaign for the presidency. That final three months cost $193,890.
The state police's executive protection unit has been required to provide full-time security for New Jersey governors since 1984. Noting this mandate, Christie has said he will keep billing the state for his security, whether he's making stump trips for Donald Trump or shopping at a local business.
"That's not my choice. I don't think I'm going to get shot at the Kings (food market) in Mendham, OK? But the State Police believe that the appropriate thing to do to protect me and my family is for them to be with me at all times. And they are with me at all times," Christie said. "You want to change that, run for office and change it."