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Christie to nominate O'Dowd to be attorney general; to appoint Egea to be new chief of staff

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Governor Chris Christie announces current Chief of Staff Kevin O'Dowd will become New Jersey's next attorney general and Regina Egea will become the new chief of staff while at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013.
Governor Chris Christie announces current Chief of Staff Kevin O'Dowd will become New Jersey's next attorney general and Regina Egea will become the new chief of staff while at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. - (Andrew George / NJBIZ)

Gov. Chris Christie announced today that he will nominate Kevin O'Dowd, his chief of staff of nearly two years, to become the state's next attorney general.

The governor also said he would appoint Regina Egea, who now heads Christie's authorities unit, to succeed O'Dowd, who has held the role since January 2012 after taking over for former chief of staff Rich Bagger.

O'Dowd will now be nominated to become attorney general, an office held by close Christie aide Jeff Chiesa before the governor tapped him to serve as an interim U.S. Senator this summer, and then held on an acting basis by John J. Hoffman. Chiesa held the Senate seat from June to October, as the death of Frank R. Lautenberg gave way to a special election that brought former Newark Mayor Cory Booker to Washington D.C.

Christie said today that his decision to nominate O'Dowd was in no way a critique on Hoffman's performance. He said that while Hoffman had done a "wonderful job" in his temporary role, O'Dowd was the "best person that I could select to be the attorney general for the second term."

"It's a reflection on Kevin, not a reflection on John," Christie said.

Prior to joining the Christie administration in 2010 as a deputy chief counsel, O'Dowd served as chief of the securities and health care fraud unit in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey.

Christie told reporters that he expects to make additional personnel announcements regarding his administration "on a rolling basis" in the near future.

"We'll make those announcements when it's appropriate to do so," Christie said.

 
 

Andrew George

Andrew George

Andrew George covers the Statehouse from NJBIZ's Trenton bureau. Born and raised in N.J., Andrew has also spent time as a reporter in D.C., Texas and Pa. His email is andrewg@njbiz.com and he is @AndrGeorge on Twitter.

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