Chris Christie Is Rarely in New Jersey, and It Could Be Costly to Taxpayers

Travel costs for his state security detail could cost $1 million.

We told you earlier this week that Chris Christie barely spends time in New Jersey anymore, and that home state residents aren’t too happy about that. Now there’s a wrinkle to that story: All that out-of-state travel the governor is doing to run for president? Jersey taxpayers might end up paying the bill.

And it’s a big bill: Possibly as much as $1 million.

NPR reports: “Christie is afforded around-the-clock protection regardless of where he is or the nature of his travels. But security for trips out of state cost significantly more than the governor’s in-state business. Those trips include expenses for hotel rooms, gas, cell phones, $70-per-trooper daily payments for meals and wear-and-tear for at least two state-owned SUVs (Christie uses New Jersey state vehicles in New Hampshire and rents cars in Iowa).”

Public documents suggest Christie logged $492,420 in travel expenses in 2014. Based on his time out of state this year — 72 percent of the time — NPR says that number would probably be closer to $946,961 for 2015. More, when salaries for troopers working out of state are added to the equation.

Now: Christie could theoretically reimburse the state for those expenses. He’s just never done that before — and has, in fact, defended using his security detail on political trips. We can’t be precisely sure if he’ll follow his own precedent, though, because his representatives didn’t reply to NPR’s requests for comment.