A presidential campaign can run up a hefty bill and the vast majority of Republicans who had bid for the nation's highest office learned this lesson the hard way. Campaign debt only grows the longer a candidate remains in the race, so how much debt does Chris Christie have post-presidential run? He dropped out of the race in early February and it seems that he's just now dealing with the paying back all that he spent on his unsuccessful campaign.
Certainly, the fruits of such an esteemed venture are well worth the financial risk, particularly if one completes a successful race — the Republican governor of New Jersey and his competitors were well aware of that. But after facing loss, many find themselves in that dreaded position of dealing with their campaign debt.
Apparently, Christie is facing enough debt that Donald Trump is rallying to help him through some fundraising efforts. On May 19, two events will be held in Christie's home state of New Jersey to raise funds for the former presidential candidate. It's a double-whammy of a Trump endorsement and Christie charity all wrapped up into one, debt-ridden day. Still, the amount of debt has the NJ governor accumulated through his run for the White House is a number that is not quite known. Some sources have placed that number at over $400,000, although more recent reports have lowered that estimate to around $250,000.
These Federal Election Commission reports revealed that Christie's presidential campaign received $13,500 from the National Republican Congressional Committee for rental of its mailing list, as well as $22,770 from the governor's leadership PAC for furniture and equipment, according to NJ.com.
At the end of March, the National Republican Congressional Committee reduced its debt to $400,690 from $485,651 a month prior. It owed the largest sums of money to Mammoth Marketing — approximately $87,198 for event turnout — and the law firm Gibbons PC, to whom the committee reportedly owed $85,798 for legal services.
But what about the second fundraiser Trump is holding for Christie? That one is actually for the New Jersey Republican Party, which reportedly amassed around $525,000 in debt from "Bridgegate," or Christie's infamous George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal from September 2013. The event made major headlines and tarnished Christie's public image in a major way.
Tickets to the Trump/Christie events run about $200 per person, according to the invitation to the Lawrenceville rally. Christie suspended his own presidential run in February after taking sixth place behind Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and Ben Carson in the New Hampshire primary, where he had campaigned heavily.