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Gov. Christie's Spotlight May Play A Role In Republican Nomination

TRENTON (CBS) - Chris Christie may not be running for president next year, but most political observers agree New Jersey's governor will play a major role in deciding which republican does get the nomination.

One good thing to come out of the months of speculation is Christie's stature. His importance has gone up within the party. Way up. He's proven to be a great fundraiser, not to mention spokesman for whoever gets the nod.

Larry Butler, a political science professor at Rowan University, sees Christie's endorsement as vital, particularly if it comes early in the primary season. Looking ahead to next summer's convention in Tampa,

"It wouldn't surprise me if he gets a prime time speaking slot. Of course, those are always determined by who the nominee is going to be and what sort of message they want to put out there," said Butler.

And expect the Christie speculation talk to shift soon from president to vice president. The governor insisted this week he's not interested in either position right now.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio

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