Governor Chris Christie held a press conference Monday to announce his nominees for associate justices on the state’s Supreme Court. His choices are Bruce Harris, an openly gay African-American, and Phillip Kwon, an immigrant from South Korea. Harris, a Republican, would be the seventh openly gay Supreme Court justice and Kwon, who is politically unaffiliated, would be the first immigrant and first Asian-American. Christie hopes his nominees are confirmed by March 1 and said the pair would serve as role models for the state’s young men and women.
During the question and answer portion of the press conference, Christie deflected a question about the gay marriage bill, which is expected to be in front of lawmakers Tuesday. He did, however, discuss the presidential race, calling former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich an “influence peddler.” Gingrich defeated Mitt Romney in the South Carolina primary Saturday. Christie has been a staunch supporter of Romney.
Reporting from Trenton, Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron files this report from Trenton.