Chris Christie’s top supporter defects to Jeb Bush

Chris ChristieNew Jersey State Senator Joseph M. Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), a longtime friend and political ally of NJ Governor Chris Christie, is backing Jeb Bush for President according to a report in The Washington Post.

“Tim Miller, a Bush spokesman, confirmed Kyrillos’s support Monday as well as a $10,000 donation Kyrillos made in March to Bush’s political-action committee,” says a report by Robert Costa inThe Post.

Kyrillos was the man who swore Christie into office when he was first elected as Morris County Freeholder in 1995.

He also chaired Christie’s successful 2009 gubernatorial campaign, and was a key supporter of the Governor’s agenda in the state legislature.

“Clearly, this Governor is not the type of leader who will be paralyzed by any crisis,” said Kyrillos last winter.

The Senator’s move to Bush’s camp seems to have been coming for a longtime.

On January 8, Kyrillos attended a dinner in Manhattan for Jeb Bush’s supporters and met with the former Florida Governor.

“I like him. I’ve known him for a long time. So when a two-term Governor of a big state, who I know and respect, calls and says ‘let’s go to dinner,’ most people go and so I went,” said Kyrillos

When asked who he would support if both Christie and Bush ran, at the time Kyrillos said, “You know, we haven’t come to that bridge yet.” (pun perhaps accidentally intended).

The loss of Senator Kyrillos is a big blow to Governor Christie, not just personally, but also practically.

Kyrillos is an aggressive fundraiser.

He is well connected amongst donors in the state and in 2008 he was NJ state chair for Mitt Romney’s bid for his party’s presidential nomination.

[Washington Post][][Photo courtesy]