GOP governors likely to draw most attention at national gathering

Feb. 21, 2014 at 10:59 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Embattled Republican governors may pull the media focus to the GOP this weekend as governors from both parties meet in Washington.

The brightest spotlights during the winter meeting of the National Governors Association could be on New Jersey's Chris Christie and Wisconsin's Scott Walker, MSNBC reported Friday.

It will be the first time Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will meet with his executive committee since the "Bridgegate" scandal.

Christie has been touted as a leading candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nod, and his interactions with other governors in his party will be a test of his continued standing following allegations of political retribution in the closing of traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge impacting Fort Lee, N.J., after the Democratic mayor declined to endorse Christie for reelection.

Walker, another potential 2016 candidate, is still being watched as criminal investigations involving former aides wind down.

The first investigation, which looked into activities during Walker's time as Milwaukee's chief executive, resulted in six convictions but did not implicate him. A second investigation continues to look at possible 2012 campaign violations.

Other potential GOP presidential candidates are also expected at the gathering, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

Democratic governors at the meeting are likely to draw a lot less attention. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has expressed interest in a presidential run and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is seen as another possible entry. However, their political dramas will likely be more muted with Hillary Clinton still considered far ahead in the pack of possible 2016 Democratic candidates.

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