NHGOP chief to testify on N.J. 'Bridgegate'
The Executive Director of the New Hampshire Republican Party has been subpoenaed to testify in front of a joint legislative committee in New Jersey investigating the role of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his staff in lane closures last September on the George Washington Bridge.
Matt Mowers, a former Christie campaign staffer, was named the top executive of the New Hampshire GOP soon after Christie won reelection in November. He came to New Hampshire fresh from his work on the New Jersey governor's re-election campaign as a regional political director whose area included Fort Lee, the community most disrupted by the lane closures.
Mowers was previously subpoenaed in February to provide documents, including emails. He also voluntarily met with legislative committee lawyers in March. Now he has been subpoenaed to appear before the full committee in May.
GOP Chair Jennifer Horn responded as she did after the first subpoena, calling Mowers a talented worker and a valued member of the GOP team.
"Matt has simply been asked to provide information regarding this issue and he has fully cooperated with all previous requests," she said. "Matt will continue to cooperate with any legitimate investigation. I have full confidence in Matt and look forward to his continued efforts to build the grassroots infrastructure we need to win in November.”
Mowers is one of two former Christie staffers now in prominent positions in New Hampshire GOP politics, the other being former Christie deputy communications director Colin Reed, who has signed on as campaign manager for senatorial candidate Scott Brown. Reed was also subpoenaed in the "Bridge-gate" investigation.
The NH Democratic Party issued a statement that cited previously published reports on Mowers and his role in the controversy, including allegations that he was the Christie staffer who approached the mayor of Fort Lee about an endorsement for Christie's re-election campaign.
"As soon as Matt Mowers began his work as the executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party, it became evident that the Chris Christie culture of intimidation and personal attacks had infiltrated the NHGOP," said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. "It has been over three months since the fallout from this scandal found its way into New Hampshire, and there are still countless question for both Matt Mowers and Chris Christie to answer. It is our hope that Matt Mowers will fully cooperate and comply with all investigations, on both a state and federal level."