Christie's chief economist to resign

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) chief economist is resigning after years of flawed forecasts resulted in multiple credit downgrades for the state.

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Bloomberg is reporting that Charles Steindel is stepping down, and Christie’s office is looking for a replacement by June 30. Steindel reportedly told the administration several months ago he would resign from his post at the end of August.

The state’s credit rating has been downgraded six times over the last three years, partly because Steindel's revenue projections for the state repeatedly fell short by a total of $3.5 billion.

The move underscores a crucial but understated challenge facing Christie as he considers a 2016 presidential run: a rocky economic record as governor of the state. 

New Jersey’s credit rating remains one of the worst in the nation, its unemployment rate is higher than the national average, and the state’s pension system is deeply in debt.

The fiscal troubles of his home state are another problem for Christie, who is a possible White House contender in 2016. His hopes also have been dimmed by the scandal surrounding lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, which were allegedly orchestrated by Christie staffers as payback against a mayor who didn't endorse his reelection bid.

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