New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant with first responders who were in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, during Christie's recent stop in Biloxi (photo by Evelina Burnett)
New Jersey governor and presumed presidential hopeful Chris Christie says Mississippi’s bitter Senate primary battle is actually a sign of the health of the Republican party.
MPB’s Evelina Burnett was in Biloxi Wednesday afternoon when Christie, who's the head of the Republican Governors Association, swung through town.
Governor Phil Bryant introduces New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to the mayor of Biloxi at Mary Mahoney’s restaurant yesterday afternoon. As chairman of the Republican Governors Association this year, Christie is traveling the nation to drum up support for GOP governors.
"We have 36 races across our 50 states this year, and we're out there trying to work hard as we can to keep 22 Republican governors who are up [for election] this year safely in office, and to add to our numbers this year," Christie says. "We have 22 up this year, we have 29 total, and I'm looking to keep all my incumbents in office and to add some."
During his stop in Biloxi, Christie was asked about the fractious Mississippi Senate Republican primary battle between long-time Senator Thad Cochran and Tea Party Backed state senator Chris McDaniel.
"It says that we have a competitive party, and a party that's full of big and good ideas, and that people are going to compete hard inside primaries for the right to carry that banner," Christie said. "It's good. It's good for our party to have good, vital debates and discussions. But when the voters speak, then it's time for it to be over."
Governor Bryant said he supports McDaniel’s right to challenge the election but hopes the court battle is resolved quickly.
"I just hope it is expedited," he said. "And I think the courts will look at it as quickly as they can. We've got our veterans who are serving now overseas. We have to have time to prepare that ballot 45 days out for some of the absentee ballots. So we need to get this behind us, and then all come together so that we can make sure we keep this in Republican hands."
McDaniel is expected to file a challenge to the primary run-off election in court Thursday.