Iowans who supported Christie in 2012 hopeful of a 2016 presidential bid

Iowans who met with Gov. Chris Christie to convince him to run for president in 2012 stand ready to lend the New Jersey Republican a hand if he decides to run in 2016.

“Definitely. I’m very interested in supporting him if he decides to do it,” Fort Dodge businessman James Kersten said Thursday.

“Getting a huge victory Tuesday reinforces the fact that he can bring people together,” said Kersten, who was among a handful of Iowans who flew to New Jersey ahead of the 2012 Iowa caucuses in an unsuccessful effort to persuade Christie to run.

He’s kept in touch with people who work with Christie to let them know there is “ongoing interest.”

Bruce Rastetter, another of those 2012 Christie fans, hasn’t ruled out getting in touch with the governor to help get him started on a 2016 presidential bid.

Like Kersten, Rastetter said Christie’s re election and how he won “bodes well for him if he chooses to run nationally.”

Winning a majority of independents, women and Hispanics “shows the breadth of his reach politically among people that other Republicans haven’t always been successful in attracting,” said Rastetter, now president of the Iowa Board of Regents. Cheap Jerseys from china Christie also made inroads among young voters and African Americans.

“Getting a huge victory Tuesday reinforces the fact that he can bring people together,” said Kersten, who expects Christie’s people to quickly shift from their re election efforts to exploring future plans for the governor.

He called Christie, 51, “one of the most dynamic leaders who can bring people together to solve problems.”

“Right now we have a very stagnant and divisive federal government,” Kersten continued. “We need a leader who can bring people together. Chris Christie has a track record in New Jersey of bringing people together to solve problems and that’s what the American people are looking for.”

Rastetter didn’t commit to backing Christie in 2016, but said he remains interested.

“We have a number of great Republican governors including Chris Christie and Scott Walker and I look forward to them coming to Iowa,” he said.

Walker has been to Iowa to raise money for Gov. Terry Branstad’s re election effort and Branstad campaign spokesman Jimmy Centers said a fundraiser with Christie, who raised money for the governor’s 2010 campaign, is not out of the question.

Wednesday, Branstad spoke to Christie to congratulate him on his re election and his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Centers said.

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