Christie said he was announcing early so Garden State residents knew he could be counted on to help them rebuild their state, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported Tuesday.
"The public needs to know that I'm in this for the long haul," Christie said during a news conference Monday at the Port Monmouth Fire House in Middletown. "That the person who has helped to lead this through the initial crisis wants to be here to lead them through the rebuilding and restoration of our state, and it would be wrong for me to leave now. I don't want to leave now. We have a job to do."
Christie's positive numbers are near stratospheric in several polls, including the Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday in which 95 percent of New Jersey residents said Christie did an "excellent" or "good" job in responding to Hurricane Sandy. Quinnipiac said Christie's 72 percent approval rating was the highest score the poll ever measured for a New Jersey governor.
Results are based on a survey of 1,664 registered voters in New Jersey conducted Nov. 19 through Sunday. The margin of error is 2.4 percentage points.
Christie, 50, said he decided during the weekend along with his wife and their four children.
"I promised people when I made up my mind I'd tell you," he said. "So I made up my mind. So I'm telling you."
Christie said he planned to have a more formal campaign kickoff in January.
Christie's name was among those mentioned as a potential GOP presidential candidate, then as a possible running mate to eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney. However, some Republicans soured on Christie, who praised the Obama administration for its response to the superstorm that devastated the state and was photographed walking alongside President Obama on tours of heavily damaged areas. Christie said he didn't care about politics when his state was hurting.