Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), the No. 1 social networking website, has “friended” Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a first-term Republican seeking re-election this year. Next month, he plans to host Christie at his home for a fundraiser.
Zuckerberg, 28, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, 27, are fans of Christie, 50, because “they worked closely” with him on education reform for the Newark, N.J. public schools, a company representative said. Zuckerberg donated $100 million to Newark schools in 2010.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat, also a Zuckerberg friend, last year decided not to challenge Christie and instead run for the U.S. Senate next year. Christie enjoys overwhelming approval in the state for his blunt style as well as his performance responding to Superstorm Sandy last quarter.
Contributors to Christie at the Zuckerberg fundraiser at the tycoon's home in Palo Alto, Calif., will be limited to $3,800 donations. The Facebook CEO contributed a total of $10,000 to the Facebook Political Action Committee in 2011 and 2012, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Facebook’s PAC took in $344,401 and disbursed about $268,000 last year mainly to Democrats but also to Republicans including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
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Shares of Facebook, based in Menlo Park, Calif., rose 6 cents to $30.89 in Thursday trading. They’ve lost 19 percent since its initial public offering last May.