Texas Senator Ted Cruz may be the first Republican candidate out of the gate ahead of the 2016 presidential primary season — but that won’t keep New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie from trampling his home turf this week.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Christie and his new-found political-action committee, dubbed Leadership Matters for America, will take a fundraising jaunt through Texas on Thursday, when they’ll hold a luncheon in Houston and attend at separate reception in the home of a key ally in Dallas.
The luncheon is being co-hosted by Paul Loyd, a Texas oil man and donor to Mitt Romney‘s 2012 presidential bid, as well as Ray Washburne, Christie’s PAC’s finance chairman and the former finance chairman of the Republican National Committee. The reception afterwards will take place at Washburne’s private residence.
The trip comes just days after Cruz, who hails from the Lone Star State along with fellow GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry, officially announced his bid for the party’s nomination next year. Cruz’s announcement has added new urgency for other prospective Republican candidates to jump into the race, including Christie — though his aides stress the incumbent’s decision will not be swayed by the timeline of his opponents’ campaigns.