FRIDAY EVENING, Jan. 23 Update:
New Hampshire Republican sources have confirmed that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s visit to the Granite State on Feb. 16 is now definite.
The New Hampshire Journal first reported earlier today that Christie was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the joint Merrimack County-Concord City Republican Committee Lincoln-Reagan Dinner at the Grappone Conference Center. Our report came ahead of final confirmation. which had been pending but was expected.
That confirmation has now been received, according to the Journal’s sources in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, a Christie aide has separately confirmed our report.
See our earlier exclusive report below.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON, Jan. 23:
It appears Chris Christie is on his way back to first-primary state New Hampshire, for his first visit of 2015.
The New Hampshire Journal learned Friday that, pending final confirmation, the New Jersey governor is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the joint Merrimack County-Concord City Republican Committee Lincoln-Reagan Dinner. The event is scheduled for Feb. 16 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord.
The Journal confirmed the tentative appearance Friday from three independent sources. The GOP committees have been in discussions with Christie’s team for several weeks, the sources said, and final confirmation of his appearance is expected soon.
Christie, as chairman of the Republican Governor Association, visited the state five times during the midterm election campaign for candidate for governor Walt Havenstein. He no longer chairs the RGA, and this will be his first visit to New Hampshire since the day before the election and since he has moved more directly toward a presidential run.
Chris Christie visited New Hampshire five times in 2014 to campaign for candidate for governor Walt Havenstein
The New York Times reported earlier this week that Christie is preparing to set up a leadership PAC as a fund-raising vehicle for his prospective presidential bid. But according to the Times, Christie advisers say he is not expected to formally announce a presidential candidacy until late spring.
Christie on Saturday is scheduled to be among a host of potential presidential candidates to conservatives in first-caucus state Iowa at a “Freedom Summit” sponsored by the conservative nonprofit Citizens United and Iowa U.S. Rep. Steve King.
A Christie visit to New Hampshire would follow early and mid-February visits by former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton (Feb. 2), former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (Feb. 10) and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (Feb. 11 and 12). On Thursday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was announced as the keynote speaker at a grassroots training event scheduled for March 14 by the New Hampshire Republican Party.