New Jersey's Christie mulls run to lead Republican Party: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, an early supporter of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, is considering a run to lead the Republican National Committee, Politico reported on Thursday.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the report, and representatives for Christie did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Christie, whose term as governor ends in January 2018, had been leading Trump's transition team until U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence recently took over earlier this month.

Current RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has been tapped to serve as Trump's chief of staff when he starts his White House term Jan. 20, 2017.

Christie had launched a presidential bid alongside Trump in a pool of 17 candidates that eventually saw Trump, a New York businessman who had never held political office, win the nomination as well as the Nov. 8 presidential election over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Christie had been a rising political star before the so-called "Bridgegate" scandal involving his former top aides that left his reputation in tatters.

Pence took over from Christie, who at one time had been considered a possible candidate to serve as Trump's attorney general, a post that instead went to U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

Trump's team has said Christie would remain as vice chair of the transition effort.

Earlier this month, Christie's two former aides were convicted for shutting down access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in 2013, creating a days-long traffic jam. The scheme was intended to punish the town's mayor, a Democrat, for declining to endorse Christie's reelection campaign.

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Additional reporting by Emily Stephenson; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bernadette Baum)