Mel Evans, Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, just named the keynote speaker at the upcoming Republican National Convention, will be in Utah next month to headline Gov. Gary Herbert's annual fundraising gala.
"Gov. Christie doesn't pull any punches; he calls it like he sees it and I'm sure we're all in for a treat," Herbert said. The two GOP governors have worked together in the National Governors Association.
Christie, who has campaigned for the GOP's presumptive presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, and was considered a strong contender for the vice presidential slot on the party's ticket, has a history of colorful and controversial comments.
His appearance could boost ticket sales to this year's Governor's Gala. Herbert already has a record of successful fundraisers, raising about $1 million from his 2011 event by charging as much as $25,000 for a sponsorship.
Herbert, who took over the office in 2009 from former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., faces his second election in two years in November. His Democratic opponent is retired Army general Peter Cooke.
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