SHARECOMMENTMORE

TRENTON, N.J.-- Two people close to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie say he has filed papers to seek re-election next year.

The people tell The Associated Press that Christie took the technical step Monday allowing him to set up a campaign headquarters, hire staff and raise funds.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak before a formal announcement is made in a few weeks.

Christie is enjoying a popularity surge due to his hands-on response to Hurricane Sandy, the worst natural disaster in state history.

He even appeared on "Saturday Night Live" in his trademark fleece pullover to lampoon his storm response.

The 50-year-old Republican with a reputation for bluntness even scored points with Democrats his handling of the storm and its aftermath.

No challengers have stepped forward so far.