The Buzz

January 22, 2014

ELECTION 2014: Ex-SC GOP chair suggests Chris Christie's bridge scandal could hurt other elections

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to thebuzz@thestate.com.

Former S.C. GOP party chairman Katon Dawson questions whether Chris Christie's bridge-gate problems might hurt other gubernatorial races since the New Jersey governor chairs the Republican Governors Association.

He hinted to Slate that a few more hits might mean Christie need to step down from the RGA chairman's seat like S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford did after his affair became public in 2009:

"To most folks in my profession, it’s governorships we pay attention to," said Dawson. "This all has the potential to affect the RGA and governor's races if it grows any more legs, like it has with the Hoboken mayor. Mark Sanford is a guy who resigned and didn’t want any of his scandal embroiled around the RGA. Now, nobody’s called for that from Christie. But if we’ve got two, three more scandals, that’s the concern I’ve got."

One of those potentially in the crossfire is S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.

She is seeking re-election against Democrat Sen. Vincent Sheheen this year and sits on the RGA's executive committee with Christie.

One note about Dawson: He supports Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry's potential 2016 White House bid. Christie has been the GOP leader in some early presidential polls.

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