New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made a formal request to FEMA last month asking the agency to reimburse his state for 100 percent of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
FEMA reimburses states for 75 percent of damage from storms but can do more if a request is made. Christie reportedly estimates the damage to his state could be $40 billion in the first three months after the storm.
New York state, led by Governor Andrew Cuomo, made a similar request for full reimbursement of an estimated $42 billion of damage related to the storm.
Christie aggravated many conservatives with his embrace of President Obama in the storm’s aftermath. While Mayor Bloomberg asked President Obama not to come to New York City, Christie welcomed him and praised his response. The two leaders took a helicopter tour of damaged areas along the Jersey coast the week before the election. Exit polls showed Obama’s storm response was a factor for a significant number of voters.
But while Christie’s response may not have helped Mitt Romney win the Presidency it seems to have been a significant benefit to the Governor himself. Christie currently has a 69 percent approval rating in a blue state, with 61 percent saying he deserves a 2nd term in office.
The New Jersey gubernatorial election takes place November 5, 2013. Christie’s oft-rumored opponent, Mayor Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), may have decided to pass on challenging Christie because of his formidable popularity.