Christie Takes Scandal Damage Test With Election Fundraising

The first real test of the damage to Chris Christie's chances of being the Republican nominee for president in 2016 from the "Bridgegate" scandal could come during the next few days.

Christie is scheduled to attend a $1,000-per-ticket reception for New Jersey Republican House candidate Steve Lonegan on Thursday. He then will head to Florida for a series of weekend events aimed at raising money for Republican Governor Rick Scott's re-election campaign, plus a meeting with wealthy Republican donors from all over the United States.

Interviews with a half-dozen Republican strategists, donors and operatives indicate that if Christie is interested in a bid for the White House, as many suspect, he has some work to do.

He needs to reassure big-money donors - even those who have seen him as the party's best hope of winning the race to be Democratic President Barack Obama's successor - that the scandal in which his aides apparently created massive traffic jams to get back at a Democratic politician in New Jersey will not grow enough to destroy his prospects.

"Everyone is worried," Republican strategist Ford O'Connell said. "But the donors are going to take a wait-and-see approach. They're not cutting off the spigot yet."

Read more from Gabriel Debendetti at Reuters

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