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Nov 27, 2012 12:36 PM by Matt Stafford

NJ Gov. Christie's focus: Rebuilding, re-election

MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to spend the next year leading efforts to rebuild his home state after Superstorm Sandy - and running for re-election.

The 50-year-old governor announced his intention to seek a second term Monday, after telling his campaign treasurer to file papers so he can begin hiring campaign staff, selecting a headquarters and raising money toward his re-election. A formal announcement is expected in January.

Christie is riding an unprecedented wave of popularity because of how he handled the storm, which he said Friday had caused more than $29 billion in damage in New Jersey.

He carried the Democratic-leaning state by 86,000 votes in 2009, an upset win over Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine.

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