New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is going to Washington state.

Republican officials said Tuesday that Christie will headline an event on Thursday afternoon that will support GOP candidates such as gubernatorial hopeful Rob McKenna. Christie is widely viewed as a possible vice presidential pick for party nominee Mitt Romney.

The event is designed to kick off the 2012 general election race. Republicans are hopeful that McKenna can end their three-decade slump in Washington gubernatorial races.

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