The mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., says he was heavily courted to endorse Gov. Chris Christie during his re-election campaign – and that his failure to do so resulted in the traffic jams which snarled his town.
Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich told the Bergen Record Thursday that Christie’s administration offered gifts to his city, like pothole repair and shuttle buses, over a two-year period in the hopes of gaining his support.
Sokolich said he and two of his cousins were also treated to a personal tour of the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan by Christie associate David Wildstein, the Port Authority official who ultimately ordered the lane closures last year.
The Fort Lee Democrat told the paper that he came to realize that he was expected to return favors to Christie, and he attributed the traffic woes caused by the lane closures to his failure to endorse the governor in 2012.
A Christie spokesman said that Sokolich’s comments represent “a direct and absolute contradiction of his public comments up to this point.”
Read the full story from the Bergen Record here.
First published February 7 2014, 2:42 PM
Carrie Dann is a national political writer for NBCNews.com. She has worked for NBC and NBCNews.com since 2006. Dann writes about politics and Congress. Dann rejoined the web team after 18 months as a campaign reporter for NBC News, covering presidential and vice presidential candidates during the 2012 election. She also covered the 2007-2008 presidential campaign for NBC, including extensive reporting on the Iowa caucuses.
Prior to her work at NBCNews.com, Dann was a staff reporter at CongressDaily, where she covered lobbying and government reform.
A Virginia native, she now lives in Washington, D.C.