New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will accept state public matching funds program for his fall re-election bid, according to a campaign official with knowledge of the operation's finances.
The official told The Associated Press that the Christie for Governor campaign will make an initial filing Tuesday with more than $4.1 million raised. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was not authorized to speak before the actual filing, which is to be made late Tuesday morning.
The 2-for-1 match will give the campaign more than $8 million, a sizeable advantage over Christie's Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono.
Buono has made only one public filing since winning her party's primary with $450,000. The first $120,000 raised is not eligible for the public match.
She also accepted public funds for the primary, but did not raise enough money to receive the maximum match. The Christie campaign says the governor raised $6.7 million for the primary and did not rely on public funds.
Accepting public money frees up candidates from having to fundraise constantly and is the state's attempt to level the field in primaries and general elections.
Candidates who accept public funds are obligated to participate in two pre-election debates. Those have not been scheduled yet.
The maximum amount that can be matched for a general election is $4.22 million. Christie has nearly reached the cap in his first filing.
Christie also tapped matching funds in 2009, when he scored an upset victory despite being significantly outspent by then-Gov. Jon Corzine, an unpopular Democrat.
Christie, who is seen as a viable contender for the 2016 Republican nomination for president, is far ahead of Buono in public polls, and is leading among nearly every demographic group, including unaffiliated voters and women.
Both Christie and Buono faced only token opposition in their party primaries in June.