Mary Pat Christie was visiting a center for homeless expectant women and teenagers who suffer from addiction or are victims of abuse.
She said that leaving her job will let her spend time with their two youngest children, ages 14 and 11, and her husband.
“I’ve been doing these things for five years and of course I’ll be out with Chris as he goes around the state elsewhere as much as I can,” she said.
When asked if that meant Gov. Christie had decided to run in 2016, Mary Pat Christie responded, “Absolutely not.” But, she added, they do have many conversations about it.
Mary Pat has been the family’s main breadwinner and reported earning more than $500,000 in the couple’s 2013 tax filings. Friday was her last day as a managing director at Angelo, Gordon & Co.
The governor, appearing Monday on his monthly “Ask the Governor” radio show, said his wife’s move has nothing to do with a 2016 announcement.
“Mary Pat stepped down because Mary Pat wanted to step down,” he said.
Christie also defended comments he made earlier this month that he doesn’t feel wealthy despite the fact he and his wife reported nearly $700,000 in income in 2013.
“I don’t feel wealthy. But you know, fact is, I know we’ve done very well, and I know we’ve made a lot of money,” he said, noting that, with four kids, including two in college, the family pays about $173,000 in tuition a year.
Christie brushed off news that his longtime friend, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, who chaired his 2009 campaign, has endorsed one of his likely GOP rivals, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Christie said he got no heads-up from Kyrillos about the decision but doesn’t take it personally.
“This is politics,” he said. “I hold no grudge at all.”
Christie maintains he’ll make an announcement about his decision in May or June.
“It’s an evolving process,” he said. “It’ll be when I decide.”