Christie nominates chief of staff as attorney general

Mon Dec 2, 2013 5:12pm EST

Chief of Staff Kevin O'Dowd, Governor Chris Christie, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Chief Counsel Charlie McKenna (L-R) are briefed during a meeting with Office of Emergency Management in preparation of Hurricane Sandy at the Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC) in West Trenton, New Jersey in this photo from October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Governor's Office/Tim Larsen/Handout

Chief of Staff Kevin O'Dowd, Governor Chris Christie, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Chief Counsel Charlie McKenna (L-R) are briefed during a meeting with Office of Emergency Management in preparation of Hurricane Sandy at the Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC) in West Trenton, New Jersey in this photo from October 27, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Governor's Office/Tim Larsen/Handout

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(Reuters) - New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie on Monday said he will nominate his chief of staff, Kevin O'Dowd, to be the state's next attorney general.

O'Dowd, a former federal prosecutor in New Jersey, must be confirmed by state lawmakers. Both Democrats and Republicans issued statements of support for the selection on Monday.

Christie's last choice for the post was controversial. He previously picked Paula Dow, a Democrat and the state's first African-American top cop. As attorney general, she declined to join other mostly Republican-led states in a lawsuit challenging Obamacare.

Christie appointed his previous attorney general, Jeffrey Chiesa, in June to fill the state Senate seat left vacant when Frank Lautenberg died. Jay Hoffman has been acting attorney general since then.

(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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