N.J.’s Christie taps Maine native as political director

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie attends a recent game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Ind. Matt Cashore/USA TODAY Sports

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — a Republican whose name is often circulated among likely GOP candidates for president in 2016 — has hired a Maine native and 2010 University of Maine graduate as the political director for his gubernatorial re-election effort.

The Star-Ledger reports that Christie has turned to Tom Dickens, 24, to oversee the campaign’s get-out-the-vote efforts and its micro-targeting research operations. Christie is up for re-election in November.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Dickens has worked to elect Republicans in Maine, Massachusetts, Indiana, Wisconsin and Florida. He worked as a field director for the Maine Republican Party during the 2008 election cycle, served as field director for Scott Brown’s successful special U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts in January 2010, and worked for Wisconsin’s Republican Party to help elect Scott Walker governor in 2010 and to help him defend his position in a recall election last year.

Dickens’ most recent job was as Florida Victory Director for the Republican National Committee.

The Star-Ledger reports Christie has raised more than $2 million for his re-election effort so far, compared to just more than $200,000 for his most likely Democratic rival, state Sen. Barbara Buono. Christie is also popular — the National Journal reports a recent Quinnipiac University survey gave him a 74 percent approval rating — and high-profile Democrats in the state have largely backed away from challenging him.