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
Price of Chris Christie Portrait Raises Eyebrows
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)

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." (More Chris Christie stories.)

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