The popular Republican governor has not formally announced his plans to run for reelection, but The Associated Press and CNN confirmed that he filed papers to set his campaign in motion on Monday.

Christie also steps into a leadership role as vice president of the Republican Governors Association this year. He is slated to take over as RGA chairman if he wins reelection.

His national profile and leadership in the GOP have prompted ongoing speculation that Christie plans to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

His response to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy earned him a popularity boost this month, despite the fact that some Republicans criticized him for embracing President Obama’s handling of the storm the week before the presidential election, which saw Christie-endorsed Mitt Romney defeated.

He entered the week with a 65 percent approval rating among registered voters in his state, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll.

Christie’s first term in office concludes at the end of 2013.