Call Us: (609) 989-7888

 

2016 12 25 ChristieNew Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is shown in Trenton last year. (Mel Evans | The Associated Press)

 

Gov. Chris Christie will be back in Washington on Feb. 16 -- to headline a leading New Jersey political event he skipped last year. 

The Republican governor is scheduled to speak that night at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce's 80th annual "Walk to Washington."

The "walk" is actually a train trip that hundreds of the Garden State's politicians, business leaders, and lobbyists take to Washington every year for a dinner with the state's members of Congress. It's also referred to as a "schmooze cruise" because of the political chatter and deals made aboard the train.

Christie is slated to speak at the dinner, along with the state's U.S. senators, Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, both Democrats, and U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.).

The governor has spoken every year except last year, when he was running for the Republican nomination for president, and in 2010, when he boycotted amid a disagreement with the chamber shortly after taking office.

Christie believed the organization snubbed him during his 2009 gubernatorial campaign in favor of then-Gov. Jon Corzine, his Democratic opponent. Christie ordered members of his administration to skip the "Walk" and held his first cabinet meeting instead.

"We have too much work to do, candidly, to to take a couple of days off to go down and schmooze with political folks and business leaders," Christie said on his second full day as governor.

Christie has never taken the train to D.C. for the event, choosing his own transportation instead. Spokespeople for his office did not immediately return a message asking if he would be on the train this year. 

This year's "Walk" would be Christie's last as New Jersey's leader. The term-limited governors in his eighth and final year. 

Christie is carrying record-low approval ratings that have slipped into the teens. But after being criticized for spending a significant time out of state the last two years -- first as a presidential candidate and then as an adviser to now-President Donald Trump -- the governor has spent the last few months making more public appearance in New Jersey.