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51.1%

September 16, 2015

We all know Gov. Chris Christie has been busy campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination this year. But it still comes as something of a shock to realize that the governor has spent 51.1 percent of 2015 anywhere but New Jersey.

His absence has become a huge issue for the state, because the governor of New Jersey is considered the most powerful state executive in the country. Very little, if any, policy gets moved forward without the governor’s involvement.

Why is New Jersey’s governor so powerful? Because in this case, Christie, and his handpicked running mate Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, are the only officials elected statewide. Other states have some elected cabinet members, such as comptrollers and attorneys general. The populace sometimes elects others to executive positions, such as judges. But in the Garden State, if the governor opposes something, the state Legislature, which has a Democratic majority, must override a veto -- something that has yet to happen in Christie’s term.

To find out where Christie is on any given day, take a look at our partner WNYC radio’s “Christie Tracker.”

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