LePage makes final New Hampshire swing for Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie swings through Becky's Diner in Portland with Gov. Paul LePage in this May 2014 photo. BDN file photo by Troy Bennett.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie swings through Becky’s Diner in Portland with Gov. Paul LePage in this May 2014 photo. BDN file photo by Troy Bennett.

Gov. Paul LePage has a full slate of events in New Hampshire today, where he’s campaigning with Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie, who has staked his hopes on a strong showing in Tuesday’s primary.

The New Jersey governor’s campaign probably depends on Maine’s neighbor, especially after Christie’s 10th-place finish in the Iowa caucuses on Monday. He’s polling in sixth place in New Hampshire, according to RealClearPolitics averages.

But he’ll have to do better than that to remain viable: Sources in New Jersey told PolitickerNJ that Christie may drop out if he doesn’t finish in third or fourth place in New Hampshire. Prior to the Iowa caucuses, Christie’s campaign said his goal in that state and New Hampshire was to finish ahead of other governors and former governors in the GOP nomination race, specifically Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

That’s part of the reason he’s enlisted LePage as part of a full-court press in the state. Christie campaigned in Maine five times during LePage’s 2014 re-election race. LePage has returned the favor, campaigning for Christie in Iowa and New Hampshire so far.

On Friday morning, LePage spoke at a town hall event in Dover with Christie and will make three stops without the candidate — at a restaurant in Sanbornville, a firearms store in North Conway and a dinner in North Woodstock — through the evening, according to LePage spokesman Peter Steele.

LePage’s political adviser, Brent Littlefield, said the governor has no events scheduled in New Hampshire after Friday and that he’ll return to Maine to attend the Saturday funeral in Auburn for former Republican legislator Lois Snowe-Mello, who died last month.

Michael Shepherd

About Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after covering state, federal and local issues for the Kennebec Journal for three years. He's a Hallowell native who now lives in Gardiner. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2012 and is a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.