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Mark Zuckerberg to host a Silicon Valley fundraiser for N.J governor Chris Christie

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla are hosting a fundraiser for governor Chris Christie, adding their name to the long list of friends that the Republican is collecting in his bid for re-election. The Facebook billionaire has become close with the governor since he donated $100million in 2011 to help improve public schools in one of the state's toughest cities. A fan with that kind of money could undoubtedly be helpful for Mr Christie as he evaluates his presidential prospects for 2016. 'They admire his leadership on education reform and other issues and look forward to continuing their important work together on behalf of Newark's school children. Mark and Priscilla are happy to host him at their home to support his re-election,' Facebook spokesman Sarah Feinberg told Buzzfeed. The event will be held in the Zuckerberg's home in Palo Alto, California on February 13 and no further specific information- including the number of or names of any possible guests. The Wall Street Journal reports that the individual donations will have to be capped at $3,800 in keeping with New Jersey's campaign finance laws. This is not the first time that Mr Christie will benefit from deep-pocketed fans from out of state. New Jersey paper The Record reports that the governor collected an impressive $2.14million in campaign funds in the final quarter of 2012, a good portion of which came from outside the Garden State. Stuart Sternberg, the majority owner of Florida's Tampa Bay Rays baseball team, donated to Mr Christie's campaign war chest, as did a number of Washington-based lobbyist groups. 'Mark and Priscilla doing an event at their house is indicative of Governor Christie’s appeal. He’s certainly a unique leader,' Mr Christie's political strategist Mike DuHaime told The Wall Street Journal. Mr Christie publicly mulled the decision whether or not to run for president in last year's race, only to end up supporting Mitt Romney's failed bid instead. Now, in the wake of his bi-partisan and tough-talking approach to gaining funds for Hurricane Sandy relief operations, Mr Christie is enjoying an all-time-high approval rating of 74% in the latest state poll. Such high numbers continue to fuel the speculation over a possible- and entirely likely- run for the presidency in 2016. The two men appear to have developed their friendship since Zuckerberg, who grew up in the suburban New York neighborhood of Dobbs Ferry, made his large donation to Newark's schools in 2010. In an interview with Oprah, Mr Christie even said that Zuckerberg was the one to support the governor's rule that forbids his teenage daughter Sarah from having her own profile on the social networking site. Mr Zuckerberg has been fairly private about his political leanings in the past, and his only publicly-recorded donations have been to the Political Action Committee run by his company. From there, the Facebook PAC has donated to a spread of both Democratic and Republican politicians.

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