The official portrait for former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will reportedly cost taxpayers $85,000, more than the last three gubernatorial portraits combined.
Taxpayers paid out a total of $74,500 for the portraits of former Democratic New Jersey Govs. Jon Corzine, Richard Codey and Jim McGreevey, The Record and northjersey.com reported on Thursday.
Paul Newton, the highly regarded Australian artist Christie selected, has painted portraits of famous subjects including Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, pop star Kylie Minogue and Pope Benedict XVI.
The official portrait is paid for through a taxpayer funded transition account of $250,000 granted to former governors as they leave office to pay off staff and additional office expenses.
Documents show Christie — who left office in January — has already put $37,500 toward the portrait and owes a remaining $47,500.
Christie said in November 2010, just 11 months into his first term as governor, that he already had plans for his oil portrait.
"So here's the thing — when I bring my grandchildren back to the Statehouse and I show them that painting ... they're going to ask me, 'What did you do, Grandpa, what did you do?’ ” Christie said at the time, according to northjersey.com
Christie has been criticized in the past for his spending habits.
During his first five years in office, he reportedly spent $300,000 of taxpayer money on food and drinks.
Christie took heat in July for staying at a state-owned beach park one day after ordering state parks and beaches to close as a result of a budget stalemate.
“I try to squeeze all the juice out of the orange that I can," he once told The New York Times.