TRENTON, NJ (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie has wasted no time endorsing longtime friend Joe Kyrillos for a U.S. Senate seat in New Jersey.

Christie made it official while campaigning with the GOP state senator in Union County this week. The governor says New Jersey “would be extraordinarily well-served” if residents were represented by Kyrillos in Washington.

The 51-year-old is seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Bob Menendez in November. Menendez is better known and better financed, having amassed nearly $7 million for the race.

Kyrillos, who kicked off his campaign Feb. 1, hasn’t submitted a campaign finance report.

The veteran New Jersey lawmaker and former state GOP chairman has been Christie’s closest Republican ally in the Legislature. And Christie and his wife were match-makers for Kyrillos and his wife, Susan.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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