Republican Joe Kyrillos sought to jump-start his candidacy for U.S. Senate on Monday by campaigning with the party's most popular figure, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Kyrillos (left) and Governor Chris Christie (AP Photo/Mel Evans)


Christie made his first public appearance with Kyrillos since endorsing him in February and said at least five more joint campaign stops are scheduled before Election Day. He worked behind the scenes for his pal of 20 years through the spring and summer, headlining fundraisers that have helped Kyrillos stay in the game against Sen. Bob Menendez, the incumbent Democrat who banked more than $8 million before the race.

"Everything that the campaign's asked me to do, I've done and I'll continue to do," Christie said after schmoozing and introducing Kyrillos to patrons at a Mercer County diner. "If it turns out he needs more, I'll make time for more."

Christie has been a popular surrogate for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and sought-after draw for Republican candidates around the country. But he said Monday he planned to make time for in-state as well as out-of-state campaigning in the three weeks leading to the Nov. 6 election. His own re-election would be next year, if he decides to run.

"The people who are really going to suffer in the next month are my family, who aren't going to see me a heck of a lot," he said. "I'll be out and around the country doing things for Gov. Romney that he asks, I'll be here in New Jersey working for Joe as hard as he needs me to work."

Kyrillos, 52, who polls show lagging Menendez by double digits, is increasingly pinning his hopes for a decent showing to his association with Christie.


(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)