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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has nominated former New Jersey Attorney General John Degnan as the next chairman of the embattled Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Degnan, a registered Democrat, replaces Christie confidante David Samson, who resigned last month amid accusations of conflicts of interest. Port Authority officials came under scrutiny by the national press after the explosion of a Christie administration scandal involving the deliberate engineering of traffic problems on the George Washington Bridge.

Christie called Degnan "a respected, distinguished public official" and has asked him to take over the agency while it faces "a number of really critical issues."

"At a time when there are significant challenges to the Port Authority both to its mission and to the purpose it serves to the people of the region, I wanted someone with unquestioned credentials both politically, from a partisan perspective and for most importantly, the issue of integrity," Christie said. "When I considered those factors, I was thrilled that John was willing to step forward and serve one more time."

Degnan gave very brief remarks, saying he is grateful for confidence governor has in him and noted he will "do my best to match your expectations."

"I will come to the job without any preconceived ideas," Degnan said.