WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has called Republican Gov. Chris Christie to congratulate him on his re-election in New Jersey.
Christie won a second term on Tuesday, defeating Democrat Barbara Buono by more than 20 percentage points.
Obama and Christie have developed an unusually close relationship for politicians from opposing parties. The two were all smiles when Obama visited New Jersey just days before the 2012 presidential election to view damage from Hurricane Sandy. That visit was perceived as boosting Obama’s appeal among independents and Republicans.
Obama didn’t campaign for Buono this year, even though he did campaign for Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia. On Tuesday McAuliffe won the only other governor’s race in 2013.
White House spokesman Jay Carney says Obama was glad to congratulate Christie on his victory.