TRENTON, N.J., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday he has decided against running for president, citing his commitment to serving New Jersey.
"Now is not my time" Christie said. "I have a commitment to New Jersey that I simply will not abandon."
Christie's announcement ended rampant speculation and dashed the hopes of Republican strategists and donors who tried to persuade him to run because they're dissatisfied with the GOP field.
"In the end, what I've always felt was the right decision was the right decision today," he said, The Miami Herald reported.
"New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me."
Two people familiar with the matter said one assurance he wasn't interested had come as a pledge Christie made to Meg Whitman, the newly appointed Hewlett-Packard chief executive officer, during a recent trip to California, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The sources said Christie said he wouldn't enter the GOP presidential race as a condition of Whitman's hosting a fundraiser for him on behalf of the New Jersey Republican Party. Christie visited three states last week to raise money for his state's GOP.
Whitman supports GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney. She and Christie became friends in 2010 during her unsuccessful bid to become California's governor, which she lost to Democrat Jerry Brown.
The first-term New Jersey governor mulled a possible presidential run for months even while saying he doesn't consider himself ready and would complete his work as governor. In recent weeks, however, under pressure from GOP activists and rich donors to join the field of candidates, Christie signaled he was reconsidering.