Gov. Chris Christie joined his family at a state-owned retreat in Island Beach State Park on Saturday night, less than 24 hours after ordering the closure of all state parks and beaches because of the budget impasse in Trenton.
The governor addressed members of the Legislature about the stalemate on Saturday and then left the capital for the park, a spokesman confirmed Sunday morning. The governor later said he took a State Police helicopter to the park and back to Trenton again on Sunday, and said he plans to do the same Sunday evening.
“That’s where my family is sleeping, so that’s where I’ll sleep tonight,” Christie told reporters on Sunday afternoon. “When I have a choice between sleeping with my family and sleeping alone, I generally like to sleep where my family is.”
Christie, his wife, his children and their guests have the run of the 10-mile barrier island, where police are turning away all others visitors over the long holiday weekend.
During a news conference in Trenton on Saturday, Christie said it was his right to stay in the park even if no one else can visit.
“That’s because the governor has a residence at Island Beach. Others don’t,” Christie said. “It’s just the way it goes. Run for governor and then you can have the residence.”