New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is scheduled to headline the Tennessee Republican Party's annual fundraiser on May 30.


Governor Chris Christie at South River Town Hall
Governor Chris Christie at South River Town Hall (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

State Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney said the appearance will give voters a chance to form their own impressions about Christie as he considers a presidential bid.

Christie has been working to revive his image following a political retribution scandal in which his aides ordered the closing of lanes near New Jersey's George Washington Bridge.

Wednesday's announcement comes on the same day that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, another potential Republican presidential candidate, was making an appearance in Nashville.

The Tennessee GOP event is chaired by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who cited Christie's electoral successes in a largely Democratic state and said the New Jersey governor "knows what it takes to lead."

Christie has drawn Democratic protests while visiting Michigan on Wednesday to raise campaign money for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land and Gov. Rick Snyder.

The Detroit News says about 40 protesters gathered Wednesday outside the Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills. The paper says one sign said "Don't Mess With Our Bridge," referring to Christie aides who shut down traffic as retaliation against Christie's political foes.

Land is seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. U.S. Rep. Gary Peters is her likely Democratic opponent. Michigan Democrats say Land and Snyder shouldn't associate with Christie because of his controversies.

Snyder campaign manager Kyle Robertson says "it sounds like March madness started a little early for some people."
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)