Here’s How Much Chris Christie Is Worth

Christie’s net worth quadrupled after leaving the New Jersey governorship.

By Kyle Mullins, Forbes Staff


Plenty of politicians make big money after leaving office: Just ask Nikki Haley, Mike Pence or Joe Biden, who all tapped into tried-and-true moneymaking methods for political figures — writing books, giving speeches, doing consulting or sitting on boards. But of all the people running for president today, nobody has played the game better than Chris Christie.

The former New Jersey governor and his wife, Mary Pat, reported $1 million to $2 million in assets when Christie left office in 2018, plus a $1.3 million house in Morris County, New Jersey. Today, the couple is worth $15 million, according to Forbes’ estimates, meaning their net worth has roughly quadrupled. The Christies now have two homes in the Garden State, worth roughly $6 million total, plus a sizable portfolio of investments, a large pension from Christie’s law firm and two smaller ones from his time in government. How’d they build such a big fortune in such a short period of time? By doing what Haley, Pence and Biden did, but on a bigger scale. Christie, a lifelong public servant who was among the poorest 2015 presidential hopefuls, is now one of the richest people vying for the Oval Office in 2024.


Christie’s Cash

The former New Jersey governor and his Wall Street wife have two houses, three pensions and a big pile of investments between them.


Christie grew up solidly middle class. He was born in 1962 in Newark, but his parents moved to the suburbs in the mid-1960s. His father held a job at Peat Marwick, the “P” and “M” in what is today the accounting giant KPMG. His mother worked at a typewriter company. In his 2019 memoir, Christie credits his interest in politics to his grandmother, with whom he watched “Meet the Press” from a young age. He remembers identifying as a Republican after watching former President Gerald Ford speak at the 1976 GOP convention.

A political science major, Christie met Mary Pat, a business student who was a year behind him, at the University of Delaware (also Joe Biden’s alma mater). He was elected student body president as a junior, and when Mary Pat ran to succeed him the following year, Chris “persuaded” her challenger to step aside and let her win unopposed. “You really don’t want to run,” Christie told the other candidate, according to his book, “because, if you do, I’m gonna work as hard as I can to make sure you lose, and that would be humiliating.” When the predictable election results were announced, the student newspaper congratulated her, adding “the suspense was killing us.”

The couple married in 1986, when Christie was a law student at Seton Hall University. Money was tight—Mary Pat made $20,000 a year, roughly $56,000 today, working at a New York investment bank, and Chris worked nights at a small law firm while completing his degree. The strain of a new marriage got to them, especially after they moved into a fixer-upper starter home in Cranford, New Jersey in 1988. They separated twice and tried counseling, but it took three years, more financial stability and a new house to repair their marriage.

The Christies sold their Cranford place in 1991 for $17,500 less than they paid for it, but by then the couple could clearly take the hit, because they turned around and borrowed $300,000 to build a 3,700-square-foot home in Mendham, New Jersey. “We were socking money away,” Christie writes about this period, noting Mary Pat’s ascendency on Wall Street as a junk bond saleswoman and his budding career as a trial lawyer. Presumably wanting more space as they began to raise a family, the Christies sold their house in 1998 for $630,000 and bought a 7,000-square-foot home nearby for $775,000. They still own the property, which Forbes estimates is worth $2 million today before subtracting an estimated $500,000 left on their mortgage.

As Christie’s bank account grew in the 1990s, so did his political clout. He took a leave of absence from his law firm job to work for George H.W. Bush’s reelection campaign in New Jersey in 1992. After a short stint in county government, he joined the campaign of H.W. ‘s son—which proved more successful. President George W. Bush rewarded Christie with an appointment as the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, and he took office in January 2002.

Under Christie, the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office became known for public corruption prosecutions, securing 130 convictions of elected and appointed officials in seven years. He also had run-ins with two brash New York real estate barons that would shape his future in politics. The first was with Jared Kushner’s father, Charles Kushner, who Christie convicted for various financial crimes in 2005. The second was with Donald Trump, who he befriended in 2002 shortly after entering office.

Following Barack Obama’s victory in 2008, Christie resigned as U.S. Attorney, leaving him with a federal pension worth around $90,000 today. In November 2009, he was elected New Jersey governor, beating a Democratic incumbent. The office came with a $175,000 salary and an official residence in Princeton, though the Christies kept the family in Mendham so the kids could stay in their schools. Mary Pat, who at this point was making more than $500,000 a year as a vice president at a Wall Street investment firm, was the family’s main breadwinner.

As governor, Christie quickly built up a national profile picking fights with teachers unions, refusing to raise taxes and going viral for combative exchanges with reporters and voters. The blue-state governor won reelection in 2013 in a landslide, overcame the “Bridgegate” scandal and announced a run for president in 2015.

It went poorly. Christie’s old friend, Trump, grabbed hold of the party and never let go. Christie dropped out after the first two primaries, then joined the Trump campaign as an advisor and head of the transition team. Squabbles with Jared Kushner—who, in Christie’s telling, never truly forgave him for prosecuting his father a decade before—and other campaign staff ultimately led to his sidelining. When Trump shocked the world in November 2016, and Christie wasn’t offered the attorney general spot he wanted, he returned to New Jersey for his final year as governor.

The Christies were doing just fine when he left office, given the $2 million or so in assets they reported at the time. Mary Pat earned more than $500,000 that year in deferred compensation from another Wall Street firm, which she left in 2015 to stay at home with her kids.

But, evidently, it wasn’t enough. “I want to have fun, and I want to make money,” Christie told The New York Times in 2017 before leaving office. He got to work quickly, signing onto ABC News as a contributor in January 2018 and starting both his own law firm and a consulting and lobbying shop called Christie 55 Solutions within three months. Apparently his businesses were a quick success, because one of the first things he and his wife did was sink $2.9 million into a beachfront house in Bay Head, New Jersey in June 2018, borrowing $1.7 million to pay for it. They paid off that loan by 2020. It’s been a good investment: The house is worth over $4.3 million today.

The cash kept coming. The Christies’ consulting and lobbying work paid the couple $3.2 million between January 2022 and mid-2023 alone; clients have included big hospitals, Puerto Rican government entities and pharmaceutical company Pacira BioSciences—on whose board Christie sits. They’ve also made plenty from the Christie Law Firm, which paid the former governor about $700,000 during that time period and gave him a pension that Forbes estimates is worth between $1 million and $4 million. (The Christie campaign did not answer a list of questions about his income and assets.)

The couple reported income from a combined six corporate boards—four private companies and two that are publicly traded, Pacira and a Swedish pharma firm named Orexo. They earned roughly $600,000 from those boards between early 2022 and the middle of 2023. Christie raked in $475,000 from the commentator gig at ABC and more than $400,000 in speaking fees over the same time period. He’s also published two books, his memoir in 2019 and a “guide for recapturing Republican glory” in 2021. His contract details are unknown, but the two have sold 33,000 and 9,100 copies respectively, according to data from BookScan.

The Christies have plowed the rest of their cash into an investment portfolio that includes hundreds of different stocks, bonds and index funds, including sizable holdings of blue-chip tech companies like Apple and Microsoft. That pile of investments threw off more than $250,000 in dividends and other income since January 2022, according to Christie’s most recent financial disclosure. The couple also reports capital gains of between $200,000 and $2 million from selling two holdings in the last year and a half. All told, the Christies’ fortune has ballooned to an estimated $15 million, more than every Republican presidential hopeful except North Dakota governor and software mogul Doug Burgum and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

And, of course, his former friend, Donald Trump, who has far more money—and support—than any other Republican candidate. The Christie-Trump relationship has soured since the January 6th riots at the Capitol and Trump’s various indictments. If Christie continues to poll in the single digits, though, at least his family is set up for a very comfortable second political retirement.

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New Jersey Schools Get Climate Education In Your Peanut Butter, Or At Least In Kids’ Hydroponic Lettuce

It’s entirely understandable that thinking about climate change can be incredibly depressing. There’s so much that should have been done sooner, and the crisis has gotten so much worse than it would have been if the world had taken action 30 or 40 years ago. We’re finally doing some of what’s going to be needed to prevent the absolute worst of the worst case scenarios from happening, probably, as David Wallace-Wells wrote last fall (New York Times gift link), but the job is so much more urgent and we’re long past the point where everything could have been just fine. But nearly every time I write about climate, I’m also impressed that there are so many extremely smart people doing extremely cool things that will genuinely help the world transition to clean energy and keep the planet more or less habitable for big dumb mammals like humans and even writers of Twilight fan fiction.

Now, if you’re teaching about climate science to elementary school kids, you don’t want to bum them out and make them lose hope, in part because that’s what middle school is for, but mostly because it’s not going to get them enthusiastic about learning. Which is why we were so delighted by this New York Times article (another gift link) about creative things teachers in New Jersey are doing to fulfill the state’s mandate that climate education be included in every grade. The goal is to get kids thinking about problem-solving and understanding that what humans do affects the world around them — in good ways, too:

Tammy Murphy, the wife of Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, was the driving force behind the new standards. She said climate change education was vital to help students attune to the planet’s health, prepare for a new economy based on green energy and adapt to climate shifts that promise to intensify as this generation of children reaches adulthood.

But the state’s method of teaching its youngest learners about climate change arguably does something more profound: Instead of focusing on the doom and gloom, the standards are designed to help children connect with what’s going on in the natural world around them, and, crucially, learn how to solve problems.


In a lovely introduction, we see a class of first-graders brainstorming ideas about what might be done to help penguins in Antarctica adapt to a warming continent. The kids are very into it, suggesting things like helping the penguins migrate someplace colder, or giving them floaties, or maybe offering to let some penguins live in the kids’ refrigerator. And by golly, the kids really do give it serious thought, like the little science fiends small humans can be:

One boy said the birds could cool off in the water, but reconsidered after remembering all the hungry orcas awaiting them there.

Now, obviously, none of these measures is going to be adopted by the UN’s Ministry for the Future, especially since it’s as fictional as the penguin-filled Frigidaire. But the goal is to promote inventive thinking and to get kids engaged in science. In another more real demonstration, the first graders’ teacher, Michelle Liwacz, is growing hydroponic lettuce and spinach in the classroom, which the kids will have for a nice green salad. Here’s a tweet from the school’s principal, Jeanne Muzi, who also gets a mention in the Times story.

Currently, the Times reports, New Jersey requires that climate be taught in

seven out of nine subject areas, including social studies and world languages. The board is expected to vote this summer on whether to require that climate change be expanded to the two remaining subject areas, English language arts and math.

And that’s all to the good, considering that climate change is going to be a part of all our lives going forward. Yes, some grumpy climate denialists are unhappy about the idea, because learning anything at all is “indoctrination,” but the heck with them, they’re not simply wrong, they’re also not representative of New Jerseyans in general, 70 percent of whom said in a recent poll that they support climate education. National polling also shows overwhelming support for climate education.

The really important thing, says elementary science education professor Lauren Madden of the College of New Jersey, is to help kids learn about climate change in a way that’s empowering for them, which means not putting it off until they’re older:

“When we shield them from so much, they’re not ready to unpack it when they learn about it, and it becomes more scary than when they understand they’re in a position where they can actively think about solutions,” Dr. Madden said. “When you take kids seriously that way, and trust them with that information, you can allow them to feel empowered to make locally relevant solutions.”

The curriculum even includes very simple lessons for kindergarteners, who learn that everything is connected, like pollinating insects and the food we eat, or even, in a lesson the first graders clearly loved, how to think about cause and effect: Sharks seem scary, but if they disappeared, one little girl exclaimed, other fish would go hungry because many fish eat shark poop!

And by Crom, if learning about fish that eat shark poop gets kids thinking about the world and their place in it, we should all be excited that kids are learning about shark poop.

It’s such a good story. Go read the whole thing!

And don’t forget to join us this afternoon for the fifth installment of our Wonkette Book Club; we’re about three quarters of the way through Kim Stanley Robinson’s epic 2020 climate novel The Ministry for the Future, and — not really a spoiler — the War for Planet Earth is finally going in some cautiously optimistic directions. We’ll be back with that in a bit, so be ready to join the conversation, yes even if you haven’t done the reading, because damn it, the news is grim but there’s also a lot to be hopeful about.

Oh, and be sure to let the penguins out of the fridge now and then. They need the exercise.

[New York Times (gift link) / NYT (also gift link) / Photo: Ted Eytan, Creative Commons License 2.0]

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Men with advanced prostate cancer going without life-prolonging medication amid shortage | CNN



CNN
 — 

Doctors across the United States who treat people with advanced prostate cancer can’t find supplies of a medicine that may help them live longer.

Pluvicto, a drug to treat metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, also known as mCRPC, is in such short supply that its maker, Novartis, said it cannot allow further supply to new patients until it can produce more of the drug. The company said it is working to produce enough doses to treat existing patients.

“We recognize that this situation is distressing for patients whether they are currently in the treatment process and being rescheduled, or waiting for their first dose of Pluvicto,” Novartis said in a statement to CNN. “Any interruption in the process, from unplanned manufacturing events to doses not arriving in time, may result in patient doses being rescheduled and can have a cascading effect on patients scheduled for future treatment.”

The Swiss company said it has been in touch with treatment centers and providers in the US and is “actively engaging with them to manage rescheduling of patient doses.”

The problem is that Novartis’ manufacturing facility in Ivrea, Italy, can’t keep up with demand for the drug. In May, it had to suspend production at the facility due to what it said was “an abundance of caution” related to potential quality issues. It also paused production at a New Jersey plant that makes the drug for the Canadian market.

Novartis resumed production at both plants in June.

The company hopes to get the New Jersey plant authorized to produce the drug for the US market, but it’s not clear when that might happen. Novartis said in early March that it had completed its filing for approval from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Someone who has a late-stage cancer that has spread to other parts of the body doesn’t have a lot of time to wait for the company to make more, doctors say, nor do they have many other treatment options. So even if Novartis got approval for the New Jersey plant quickly, the help will come too late for many people, according to Dr. Daniel Spratt, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland.

Novartis said it is prioritizing people who are currently being treated with Pluvicto, which is given in six cycles. But Spratt said the supply has recently been too low even for some of these patients.

“Many patients are missing months of therapy,” he said. “The real tragedy is the patients partially under treatment who have had great responses and we can’t get them the rest of their therapy in a timely fashion.”

Next to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, according to the American Cancer Society. Most men do not die from prostate cancer, but about 34,700 people are expected to die from it this year. It’s the second leading cause of cancer death for American men, behind only lung cancer.

Pluvicto is a targeted radioligand therapy, meaning it uses radioactive atoms to deliver radiation to targeted cells, fighting cancer while limiting damage to the surrounding tissues.

There is no cure for this advanced stage of cancer, but Pluvicto can help people live longer. When the drug got FDA approval in March 2022, Spratt said, there was a lot of excitement about its potential. His patients who had heard about the trials have been asking about it for years.

One study from Novartis’ trials found that people who got the drug lived a median of about 15 months after diagnosis, four months longer than the median for people who didn’t get the treatment. For a handful of people, the recovery is even more dramatic.

“There are some patients that really do have those sort of miraculous responses, so it does occasionally give us one of those ‘wow’ moments,” said Dr. William Dahut, chief scientific officer at the American Cancer Society.

Dahut said doctors also like Pluvicto because, compared with other cancer treatments, it’s easy to administer and has relatively few side effects, other than dry mouth.

Another side effect of the shortage is that it’s slowing the progression of research. There is some indication that the drug could help people before their cancer reaches such a late stage.

“We’re anxious to have greater supply to study it in broader populations,” Dahut said.

Spratt said he is working closely with the medical oncologists in his health care system to try to find alternative treatment options, and he’s been looking to get people into clinical trials so they can get access to the therapy.

“But there’s really very few options available,” he said.

Novartis said that if the FDA approves its plant in Milburn, New Jersey, it could supply more Pluvicto as early as this summer.

The agency told CNN that it “is not able to discuss details regarding any possible communications or actions with companies due to commercial confidential information.”

“To be clear, FDA does not manufacture, produce, bottle, or ship drugs and cannot force companies to do so or make more of a drug. However, in general, the FDA works with firms making drugs in shortage to help them ramp up production if they are willing to do so. Often, they need new production lines approved or need new raw material sources approved to help increase supplies. FDA can and does expedite review of these to help resolve shortages of medically necessary drugs.”

Novartis is also building a plant in Indianapolis where the drug will be produced, but that won’t be up and running until the end of the year, the company said.

In the meantime, doctors will often have to tell their patients that they probably won’t be able to help get them this life-extending drug for some time.

“Some men and their physicians will feel that some hope was taken from them,” Spratt siad. “Cancer is the enemy here, not the company, but it’s unfortunate to have that excitement that your physician will be able to prescribe it to you and just not be able to give it to them.”

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