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Ryan Johnson, Published October 01 2012

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to headline Fargo rally Saturday morning

FARGO – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be in Fargo on Saturday to headline a “victory rally” featuring North Dakota’s Republican statewide candidates, GOP officials announced Monday.

Christie, 50, was the first Republican in 12 years to win a statewide election in New Jersey when he was elected the state’s 55th governor in 2009. He has since become a nationally known GOP figure and presumed contender for the party’s presidential nomination in 2016.

Stan Stein, chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party, said Christie has become a prominent figure because of his ability to cut budgets and run a state efficiently.

“He’s a fiscal conservative, and that’s what people are concerned about right now, is the economy and jobs,” he said. “I think he’s shown as governor he can handle the situation and he’s got the right ideas.”

Stein said Christie also has gained a reputation as an outspoken leader who “says what’s on his mind.”

The Fargo rally will be Saturday morning at the Fargo Air Museum, 1609 19th Ave. N. Doors will open at 8:30 and the rally will start at 8:45.

Attendees are asked to register online in advance to save a spot at the rally because there will be limited space. To register, visit www.ndgop.org.

Stein said Christie will be the headlining speaker, but the rally also will feature messages from U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Rick Berg, U.S. House candidate Kevin Cramer, Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley and other statewide Republican candidates.

Following the rally, attendees can join the candidates at North Dakota State University’s homecoming parade that starts at 10 a.m. across the street from the museum.

Stein said Wrigley’s personal relationship with Christie allowed the party to snag a well-known speaker for the rally.

“I’m excited about it,” he said. “I think it’s going to be an electric atmosphere inside the Air Museum Saturday morning.”

But Rania Batrice, communications director for the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party, said Christie’s appearance probably won’t translate to a boost for Republicans during the November election.

“I think that people, especially in North Dakota, are looking at issues and which candidates can do the best job,” she said. “I don’t really think they care what national surrogates are coming in.”

If you go

What: North Dakota Republican Party rally headlined by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

When: 8:45 a.m. Saturday; doors open at 8:30 a.m.

Where: Fargo Air Museum, 1609 19th Ave. N.

Info: To register for the free event, visit www.ndgop.org

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587

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