- Associated Press - Thursday, August 14, 2014

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - Biloxi residents lined the walls of a local restaurant to shake the hand of New Jersey governor and GOP leader Chris Christie.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1oxbKZ8 ) he stopped by Wednesday night to thank South Mississippi first responders who’d helped after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The stop is one of many in a cross-country tour in support of GOP governors in Christie’s role as chairman of the Republican Governors’ Association.

The stop is one of many in a cross-country tour in support of GOP governors in Christie’s role as chairman of the Republican Governors’ Association.

“I heard some extraordinary stories about how wonderful the first responders from Mississippi were to our folks,” he said. “Particularly in Monmouth County, New Jersey, which was one of our hardest-hit counties where they went and spoke to folks directly.”

Christie said he was glad to have support from people that had been through a similar situation.

“The biggest gift they brought was that our folks got to see people that had been through it and had gotten to the other side,” he said.

Recovery from the storm is going well, he said, especially for businesses. Rebuilding the 365,000 homes lost has been the biggest challenge, which is something he said Biloxians could surely relate to.

Harrison County Fire Marshall Pat Sullivan, who led a team of first responders for two weeks after the storm, said he was impressed Christie expressed his gratitude.

“What’s most important to me is the governor was representing his people in coming and saying thank you,” he said. “That meant something.”

This wasn’t Christie’s first trip to the Coast. He supported Gov. Bryant during the 2011 campaign and said he would return in 2015 if Bryant decides to run again.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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