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Gov. Scott Walker, left, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie eat lunch with Republican supporters Tuesday at the Rock Garden Conference Center in Howard. / Corey Wilson/Press-Gazette


HOWARD One of the Republican Party's rising national stars came to Gov. Scott Walker's defense in the gubernatorial recall campaign.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joined Walker at a campaign fundraiser Tuesday and urged a crowd of supporters to rally around "a good and decent, honest man."

Saying that Walker's agenda has brought Wisconsin "common-sense reforms," Christie depicted the embattled Republican governor as a person who puts principle over politics.

"He's got a record to be extraordinarily proud of," Christie said. "We have an obligation to stand with him."

Walker faces a recall election June 5.

Christie, a first-term governor in New Jersey, considered running for president and now is believed to have potential to become presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate.

More than 250 people paid $100 each to attend Tuesday's event at the Rock Garden Conference Center; some paid $2,500 a couple to attend a special private event with Christie.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, one of the Democrats seeking the party's nomination to run against Walker in the recall election, issued a statement criticizing the governor for aligning himself with Christie.

Barrett said both Republican governors are pursuing "extreme agendas." Barrett faces four people in the May 8 primary former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout of Alma and Gladys Huber, who is a Republican running as a Democrat. The winner will go on to face Walker in the June recall.

"While Scott Walker and Chris Christie are perfect for each other, they are both flat-out wrong for Wisconsin," Barrett said.

Outside the event, about 30 protesters were joined by Arthur Kohl-Riggs, who has garnered little attention as a Republican challenging Walker in next week's recall primary.

Kohl-Riggs questioned why the incumbent governor was relying on an out-of-state Republican leader to make his case for staying in office. and follow him on Twitter @pgscottwilliams.

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