The Republican Governors’ Association had a record-breaking January fundraising haul, despite scandal swirling around its chairman, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The governor made a fundraising stop in Florida in January, and headlined a $1,000-per-head fundraiser for former New Jersey Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan, now running for the House.
Gitcho also noted that just last week, Christie raised $1.5 million during a stop in Texas, setting the RGA off to a solid start for February as well.
Christie is fundraising in Illinois on Tuesday, and has stops in Massachusetts, Utah, Georgia, Connecticut and Michigan planned.
The record-breaking haul comes as Christie continues to face scrutiny for his administration’s role in orchestrating closures on the George Washington Bridge last year in an act of apparent political retribution.
Christie cut ties with two top aides implicated in the scandal, and state and federal investigations into the situation are ongoing. On Tuesday, the state legislative committee is expected to issue 18 more subpoenas as part of its investigation into the closures.
The scandal has crippled Christie’s position as a national leader of the GOP, and knocked him from the front of the 2016 GOP presidential pack in multiple polls. Republican donors have privately criticized him, and some members of the party have called for him to step down as RGA chairman, concerned that his political baggage could hamper their chances in 2014 gubernatorial races.
But the record-breaking January sum could quiet some of those critics, sending a message to Christie’s detractors that the scandal hasn’t yet felled him on the national stage.