Price of Chris Christie Portrait Raises Eyebrows

$85K price tag is more than paid by NJ's 3 previous governors combined
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2018 7:55 AM CDT
In this July 3, 2017, file photo, former New Jersey Gov. Brendan Byrne's portrait hangs nearby as Chris Christie speaks in Trenton, NJ.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
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(Newser) – Chris Christie has found a new way to ruffle taxpayers' feathers despite having left office earlier this year as the least popular governor in New Jersey history. Christie has commissioned award-winning Australian artist Paul Newton to paint his official portrait at a cost of $85,000, the Bergen Record reports. That's $27,000 more than the most expensive portrait ever commissioned for a NJ governor and $10,000 more than was spent on portraits of NJ's three previous governors combined. While the sum is a fraction of the $500,000 reported cost of portraits for Barack and Michelle Obama, those were privately funded, whereas Christie's commission will be paid for by taxpayers.

Some $37,500 has already been paid, per the Record. According to the Washington Post, the price tag isn't so surprising considering Christie was known to take a state police helicopter to watch his son play baseball. He's "leaving behind his mark in typical extravagant swagger," the paper notes. The Record notes that a more enduring image is free: "To most people, the image that sums up Chris Christie's time as governor is the picture of him on that beach closed to everyone else."

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