TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - This was supposed to be a month of celebration for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's political future.
But the prospective Republican presidential candidate is now faced with what may be the biggest test of his political career after messages released Wednesday reveal that his administration may have closed highway lanes to exact political retribution.
The revelations thrust a regional transportation issue into a national conversation raising new questions about the ambitious governor's leadership. Critics suggest the incident reflects a darker side of Christie's politics that contradicts the image he'd like to project as he eyes the White House.
The messages released do not directly implicate Christie, but they appear to contradict his assertions that the closings were not punitive. He has denied any personal involvement.