New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's position as a 2016 presidential contender was bolstered by his reputation as someone who had secured re-election endorsements from Democratic officials — 61 across the state, according to The Wall Street Journal
Christie aides sometimes employed carrot-and-stick political tactics to secure support from Democratic mayors, offering enhanced access to state government for those who were forthcoming, while freezing out those whose did not accommodate Christie.
Fort Lee Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich said he was never asked outright to endorse Christie. But according to the Journal, he was given to understand by Matt Mowers — a regional Christie campaign director — that his backing of Christie's re-election would be welcome.
Sokolich did not endorse Christie.
Unexpected lane closures, which lasted four days in September 2013, badly snarled traffic heading into Fort Lee from the George Washington Bridge, which connects New York and New Jersey.
Steve, the Democratic mayor of Jersey City, decided not to endorse Christie despite their good working relationship. Retribution came quickly. Meetings that had arranged with state commissioners were abruptly canceled.
Ever since, he told the Journal, "nearly every single meeting we have requested with state commissioners with regard to proactive Jersey City issues has been unfortunately rejected over the last six months, along with countless requests we made to the Port Authority" which administers bridges and roads that connect New York and New Jersey.
Hoboken Mayor Dawn said it was not easy for her to decline to endorse the governor since the matter came up on the sidelines of a conversation about Hurricane Sandy relief.
In contrast, Matt, mayor of the small coastal borough of, said that state officials helped his town after the hurricane even though he did not endorse the governor.
"They've been great to work with and never hinted at an endorsement," said.
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