Republican sources describe Bridget Anne Kelly as a Bergen County political expert who had Bill Stepien’s trust when she coordinated the Christie campaign in 2009.
She went to the administration because Stepien trusted her based on her work in Bergen, two sources say.
According to documents obtained by PolitickerNJ, Kelly is Gov. Christie’s deputy chief of staff who told Port Authority official David Wildstein that it was time for a traffic snarl in Fort Lee prior to the Port Authority ordering lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.
A former aide to Assemblyman David Russo (R-40), Kelly was “joined at the hip” to Stepien, both sources said.
A former deputy chief of staff to the governor, Stepien was Christie’s campaign manager last year and is the party’s nominee to succeed Sam Raia as state party chair.
Last year, he accepted an advisory position with the Republican Governor’s Asociation.
A source close to Kelly said Stepien trusted her political instincts in Bergen in part because Kelly knew the territory in a very difficult political environment dominated by factions.
“Bill has always been her benefactor,” one source said.
Kelly was still with Russo’s office in 2009 when she started phone-banking for the Christie campaign.
“She had been involved in Bergen politics for a while and knew a lot of Bergen players,” the source said. “She was a good asset for Bill, constantly [giving] him intel.”
She went to the administration soon after Christie won his 2009 bid for governor.
Another source told PolitickerNJ that Kelly's ascent to the governor's inner circle surprised party members who believed long-time GOP loyalist Amanda Gasperino deserved a shot.
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"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran- Star-Ledger
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