Bloomberg News

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Sought to Help Christie’s Campaign

January 25, 2013

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said Facebook Inc. (FB:US) Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg came up with the idea of hosting a campaign fundraiser at his home.

Zuckerberg, 28, is a “good friend,” Christie told reporters yesterday. The planned Feb. 13 event shows support for his policies extends to younger people who aren’t generally connected with Republican politics, Christie said.

“I feel good -- how would you feel if Mark Zuckerberg wanted to host a fundraiser for you,” Christie said. The first- term Republican is seeking re-election in November.

The two forged a relationship during several weeks of conversations before a September 2010 announcement on Oprah Winfrey’s television show that Zuckerberg would donate $100 million to the public schools in Newark, New Jersey’s biggest city. The two have kept talking since then about Newark and met up when Christie, 50, campaigned for Mitt Romney in California.

Zuckerberg is a co-founder of the world’s largest social- networking website. He became one of the world’s youngest billionaires when the company sold shares to the public for the first time in May.

Newark schools, with about 37,000 students, have been under state control since 1995, said Barbara Morgan, a spokeswoman for Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf.

When Christie traveled west with his wife, Mary Pat, in 2011 to hold an Internet-streamed town-hall meeting at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters, he said he stayed at the Palo Alto home of Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, his spouse.

“When I announced that I was running for re-election, Mark called me and said he wanted to do something to help and offered to hold a fundraiser,” Christie said. “From what I understand, it’s the first fundraiser he’s held for any politician.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Trenton at tdopp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: William Glasgall at wglasgall@bloomberg.net


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