As he awaits his inauguration as the 55th Governor of New Jersey, here's a Christopher Christie trivia question: when President George W. Bush nominated Christie to serve as the United States Attorney for New Jersey in 2001, who were the other two candidates in the race for federal prosecutor?
Christie beat Rosemary Alito, a prominent employment law expert whose brother, Samuel Alito, had served as U.S. Attorney from 1987 to 1990, and John Peter Suarez, the state Director of Gaming Enforcement and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney.
A fourth candidate was Attorney General John Farmer, Jr., who never actually asked to be considered.
A former Morris County Freeholder and Bush fundraiser, Christie ran a masterful campaign for U.S. Attorney. He won endorsements from the Acting Governor, state legislative leaders, most of the state's GOP congressional delegation, and Republican Party leaders. He convinced New Jersey's two U.S. Senators – Jon Corzine and Robert Torricelli – to sign off on his nomination. Alito had no real political support, and Suarez's key backer was U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo.
Alito has enjoyed continued success in private practice. Suarez went to Washington to work with Christine Todd Whitman at the Environmental Protection Agency; he's spent the last five years at Wal-Mart, where he is the senior vice president and chief compliance officer.