Sources: Bergen politico Kelly landed in administration because of trust of Stepien
By Max Pizarro | January 8th, 2014 - 2:32pm
| More

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.

The Back Room

Christie takes state helicopter to campaign in Connecticut

Gov. Chris Christie took the "upper level" -- helicoptering over the George Washington Bridge -- to beat rush hour traffic from his home state to a recent GOP fundraiser with Connecticut gubernatorial contender Tom Foley, according to a Hearst Media report.

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 24th

  Of friends, enemies, transactions and transportation: the evolving political relationship of Bob Menendez and Steve Fulop The image yesterday in Washington D.C. of powerful U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) walking the hallways with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop sent a signal of Menendez’s willingness to get behind...


NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >


 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"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


Which contest are you most focused on this coming season?:


Visit the page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.


  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.