New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will give an in-person endorsement to GOP Senate nominee Steve Lonegan (R), who Christie beat in a 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary, according to CNN.

The governor's decision to make his endorsement at a rally rather than quietly offer a statement suggests he's looking to shore up his right flank and keep the party base happy ahead of a possible presidential run. 

Lonegan is viewed as more conservative and ran to Christie's right in 2010. Until now, Christie had kept his distance from Lonegan's campaign.

The governor also quietly vetoed a number of gun control laws on Friday, a sign he's looking past his 2013 reelection and onto the presidential primary.

Christie will endorse Lonegan, a long shot against Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D), on Tuesday.

If the governor had really wanted to boost the GOP's chances of winning the seat, however, he could have scheduled the special election for the same day as his own reelection rather than for a few weeks beforehand. 

Many Republicans were angry at how Christie handled choosing the special election date, seeing his decision as a way for him to boost his own reelection numbers at his party's expense.