Richard Bagger

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Rich Bagger
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 21st district
In office
January 8, 2002 – January 15, 2003
Preceded by Kevin O'Toole
Succeeded by Tom Kean
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 22nd district
In office
January 1992 – January 8, 2002
Preceded by Maureen Ogden
Succeeded by Linda Stender
Personal details
Born (1960-03-27) March 27, 1960 (age 57)
Plainfield, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater Princeton University (BA)
Rutgers University, Newark (JD)

Richard H. "Rich" Bagger (born March 27, 1960) is an American Republican Party politician from New Jersey, and former State Senator who later served as chief of staff to Governor Chris Christie.[1] He left the Christie administration in early 2012, and is now an Executive Vice President with Celgene. He is a resident of Westfield, New Jersey.

Life and career[edit]

Bagger was born in Plainfield, New Jersey. He received an A.B. in 1982 from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law–Newark.[2]

Bagger served as a Planning Board member, Councilman, and Mayor in Westfield during the 1980s and 1990s.[2] He was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly from the 22nd Legislative District in 1991, succeeding Chuck Hardwick, his longtime mentor. During his time as an assemblyman, he served as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and was elected to be Majority Conference Leader. In 2000, he declined a race to succeed Bob Franks in Congress. In 2001, he was elected to the New Jersey Senate for the 21st Legislative District. He resigned as a State Senator in 2003 in order to pursue private business interests and was succeeded by Thomas Kean Jr. Bagger remained a political leader in Union County after leaving the legislature.

Earlier in his career, Bagger was an Assistant General Counsel to Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey and practiced law with the firm of McCarter and English.[2] After leaving the Senate, he worked as Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy for Pfizer.[2] He also was a member of the NJN Foundation Board of Trustees. In December 2009, then-Governor-elect Chris Christie appointed Bagger as his chief of staff.

Bagger currently serves on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board of Commissioners having been confirmed by the New Jersey State Senate on June 28, 2012.[3]

Bagger briefly joined the transition planning team of Donald Trump, after his friend and close associate Chris Christie endorsed him and was named head of the planning group.[4][5][6] After calls for Christie's impeachment as Governor and felony convictions in U.S. federal court for high-ranking members of his staff in the Bridgegate scandal, Christie was dropped by Trump as leader of the transition team, in favor of Mike Pence.[4][5] On the same day, Bagger was removed by Trump from the transition team.[4][5]


  1. ^ Bagger Will Be Christie's Chief of Staff, Politicker NJ. Accessed December 3, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d Richard H. Bagger - NJN Foundation Board of Trustees, accessed April 13, 2007.
  3. ^ "Board of Commissioners". 
  4. ^ a b c David Smith (11 November 2016), "Chris Christie dropped as head of Trump's White House transition team", The Guardian, retrieved 12 November 2016 
  5. ^ a b c Michael D. Shear, Michael S. Schmidt, and Maggie Habermannov (11 November 2016), "Vice President-Elect Pence to Take Over Trump Transition Effort", The New York Times, retrieved 12 November 2016 
  6. ^ Jeremy Diamond, Jake Tapper, Phil Mattingly and Stephen Collinson, CNN (February 26, 2016). "Chris Christie endorses Donald Trump". CNN. Retrieved February 27, 2016. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Raymond Stone
Mayor of Westfield
Succeeded by
Garland Boothe
New Jersey General Assembly
Preceded by
Maureen Ogden
Member of the New Jersey Assembly
from the 22nd district

Served alongside: Bob Franks, Alan Augustine, Tom Kean
Succeeded by
Linda Stender
New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
Kevin O'Toole
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 21st district

Succeeded by
Tom Kean