Mark Zuckerberg throws fundraiser for New Jersey governor
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Photo: AFP
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg will support New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's re-election bid by hosting a fundraiser for the first-term Republican.
The event for Mr Christie, 50, will be held at the home of Mr Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, said Sarah Feinberg, a Facebook spokeswoman. Mr Zuckerberg, co-founder of the world's largest social-networking service, lives in Palo Alto, California.
"Mark and Priscilla have worked closely with Governor Christie on education reform in the Newark school system," Ms Feinberg said in email. "They admire his leadership on education reform and other issues and look forward to continuing their important work together on behalf of Newark's school children."
Mr Zuckerberg, 28, who started his company in a college dorm room in 2004, is expanding his role beyond the day-to-day duties of running Facebook, which has more than 1 billion users. In 2010, Mr Zuckerberg unveiled plans to donate $100 million to assist schools in Newark, New Jersey's largest city.
The fundraiser and support from Mr Zuckerberg shows Mr Christie's appeal to people outside of New Jersey and his ability to garner support from non-Republican sources, said Mike DuHaime, a top Christie adviser.
"Silicon Valley has not traditionally been a hotbed of Republican activity," Mr DuHaime said in an interview. "It illustrates how much support the governor has across the entire political spectrum and nation."
The fundraiser was reported earlier by New York-based social news site Buzzfeed.
Mr Christie is enjoying record approval ratings for his handling of Hurricane Sandy, which struck the East Coast on October 29. He said on November 26 that he will seek a second term this year to oversee the $US36.9 billion ($34.9 billion) job of rebuilding.
The governor raised $US2.1 million for his re-election bid through December, according to campaign-finance reports. State Senator Barbara Buono, the only Democrat so far to declare her candidacy, raised $US212,927.