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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Chris Christie and Mary Pat Foster

Bridges to Cross

Chris Christy met Mary Pat Foster when the two were undergraduates in student government at the University of Delaware. Mary Pat, the ninth of ten children, attracted Christy with her independence, faith, and ability to surprise him and have fun.

Christie, a year older than Mary Pat, was student body president his senior year. Mary Pat was elected to the position the following year when she was a senior. Though she felt she had big shoes to fill, she left her own mark by defeating a petition to defund a campus gay and lesbian organization, by leading classmates to a legislative hearing to protest higher tuition costs, and by attempting to fund weekend activities as an alternative to the binge drinking that was prevalent.

The Christies married in 1986 a year after Mary at graduated. Chris was a law student at Seton Hall University, and Mary pat was earning her master’s degree in business administration.

The couple lived in a one room apartment in Summit, NJ that was so shabby it made Mary Pat’s mom cry.

Chris Christy went on to become a partner at the firm of Dughi, Hewit, and Palatucci, and Mary Pat began a very successful career in investment banking, eventually working with the Wall St. firm of Cantor Fitzgerald.

In 2000 Chris Christy was a key player in the election of George W. Bush. As one of the leading fund raisers for the Bush campaign, Christy was nominated to be U.S. Attorney for New Jersey in 2001.

On September 11, 2001 Mary Pat Christie was at work two blocks away from the Twin Towers when the planes hit.

She like many others were evacuated from the city while her family, Chris and their three young children, waited and worried on the NJ side.

Also like many others, Mary Pat was determined to return to Wall St. when it reopened. Along with walking by the remains of the horrors of that day, Mary Pat had the trauma of working for a firm which lost over two thirds of its workforce in the attacks. More than 650 Cantor Fitzgerald employees died that September morning.

Christie made certain that his wife had his full attention at the end of these grueling days. He knew her to be tough, but also knew that she tended to keep her emotions hidden. He didn't want her to feel alone as she coped with the loss and suffering she observed every day.

After some time away she is back with Cantor Fitzgerald and juggles career, family, and politics to be a very visible and pro-active First Lady of New Jersey.

The Christies have crossed many bridges in their 26 years of marriage,and it looks like another one has come along. Whatever comes next,though, I believe Chris and Mary Pat will cross this bridge together.