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Report: Christie Arranged Deal With South Jersey Political Boss During Campaign

The New York Times report focused largely on the belief that Christie may have lost former Gov. Thomas H. Kean's support; Kean's son allegedly tried to oust a key Norcross ally

Gov. Chris Christie allegedly worked out an agreement with George Norcross III in 2013 not to campaign against southern New Jersey candidates whom the Democratic powerbroker supported, the New York Times reports.

Christie allegedly arranged the deal during the gubernatorial campaign as the governor was attempting to land support from State Sen. President Stephen Sweeney (D-3), the New York Times reports.

The revelation was made as Christie battles allegations that his allies arranged a lane closure at the George Washington Bridge as a form of political retribution.

The New York Times report focused largely on the belief that Christie may be losing the support of a man he calls his mentor and close ally - a rift that was connected to the alleged Norcross deal.

Kean has been critical of Christie in recent days, stating voters should give a second thought to Christie as a presidential candidate. 

The criticism appears to stem from Christie’s efforts to have Kean’s son, Thomas H. Kean Jr. (R-21), ousted as the Republican minority leader in the State Senate, the New York Times reports.

Christie’s efforts to have Kean removed from his position appear due to Kean Jr.’s support for Republican Nikki Trunk, who challenged Sweeney in November, according to the report.

Sweeney won re-election with 55 percent of the vote.

Christie’s efforts failed, as Republicans re-elected Kean to his position. The New York Times reports Christie rewarded those who attempted to oust Kean with his box seats at a New York Giants game, according to the report.

In a column for the Star Ledger, the elder Kean wrote it was more important to Christie to have bipartisan support as he builds his presidential bid than it was to help Republicans succeed in New Jersey. He said he was disappointed by Christie's actions, as well as the fact Christie didn't call him to warn him.

He told The Washington Post Christie’s actions against his son are typical of the style of governance Christie has brought to the statehouse.

Kean Sr. was governor from 1982-1990, and won his re-election bid over Peter Shapiro in 1985 by 40 points.

Christie apologized to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich following his press conference last Thursday. The lane closure is seen as retribution for Sokolich not supporting Christie during his bid for re-election in November.

Polls released prior to emails being released last week linking former members of Christie’s administration to the closure showed Christie was well ahead of other Republican hopefuls for the 2016 presidential primaries, and showed the nation was split down the middle between Christie and Hillary Clinton.

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