JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has started an online petition calling on Gov. Chris Christie to resign.
Fulop posted a link to a website called stepdownchris.com on his Twitter page Tuesday.
In the petition, Fulop says Christie “has made his priorities clear that time with Donald Trump on the campaign trail is more important than the people of New Jersey.”
Christie threw his support behind the GOP front-runner shortly after suspending his own campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in February.
The governor has received considerable backlash following the endorsement, with local media outlets and lawmakers calling for Christie’s resignation.
On Monday, the day a state trooper was being buried in New Jersey, Christie was in North Carolina campaigning with Trump. He sent Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to the funeral for Trooper Sean Cullen, who died after being struck by a driver as he responded to a car fire.
Fulop feels Christie has all but abandoned the state.
“His actions yesterday with the trooper’s funeral speaks volumes,” Fulop told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell. “His actions speak to where his mind is these days and it’s certainly not focused on New Jersey.”
A spokesman for the governor called Fulop hypocritical for angling to be governor, “since the day he was elected mayor,” Haskell reported.
Chris Burgos, the head of the state troopers’ union, which has fought bitterly with Christie in court over public pensions, was also sharply critical of the governor.
“We did not expect someone who has consistently shown disdain for law enforcement to pay his respects to the Cullen and State Police family,” Burgos said.
Christie has missed three funerals for officers from the state who died in accidents since December. He attended the funeral for a state trooper who died in June, right before he launched his campaign.
Christie said he had not planned to attend the trooper’s funeral even if he was in the state. He said he would have attended a groundbreaking in Essex County if he wasn’t on the road with the Republican presidential front-runner.
Christie returned to New Jersey Tuesday to promote the state’s economic recovery.
“I’m going to do my job,” Christie said. “The people of New Jersey will see it and react to it, and I’ll do better.”
On Tuesday, an editorial in the Star-Ledger, one of the nine New Jersey papers that have called for Christie’s resignation, demanded the governor repay the state for the cost of his state security detail while traveling on behalf of Trump.
Christie said recently he wouldn’t resign and that newspapers were just trying to find ways to stay relevant by printing scathing editorials. He also said that he would refocus on New Jersey.
This is not the first time Christie has found himself in the unflattering national political spotlight since endorsing Trump.
On Super Tuesday, Christie was widely mocked online for his blank stare while standing behind Trump during a news conference. He later said he wasn’t being held hostage, as some speculated, and that’s just what standing behind someone looks like. He recently dismissed the attention, calling it the latest “Internet freak out.”
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