(CNN) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination after a disappointing finish in New Hampshire, he formally announced in a Facebook post Wednesday.
Christie made the announcement earlier on a call with his campaign. He staked his hopes on New Hampshire, but finished sixth on Tuesday night with just 7% of the vote.
“Today, I leave the race without an ounce of regret,” Christie wrote on Facebook.
The decision marks a sudden end for someone once seen as a potential front-runner. In the wake of the 2012 election, Christie appeared poised for a strong bid for the Republican nomination — he won a second term as the Republican governor of a blue state and led the Republican Governors Association, giving him a perch to travel the nation fundraising for other Republicans and building his stature.
But shortly after he was elected to his second term in November 2013, he was engulfed by the “Bridgegate” scandal. Emails and texts from top aides show they requested that two lanes onto the George Washington Bridge be shut down in September 2013, causing massive traffic jams in Fort Lee, New Jersey, after the town’s Democratic mayor declined to endorse Christie’s re-election.
A federal investigation determined that Christie had no knowledge of the decision to close the lanes, but the political damage was real. By the time he announced his bid at the end of June 2015, the damage from “Bridgegate” had many wondering whether his campaign was dead from the start.
But Donald Trump’s ascendance over the summer quickly sucked the air out of the room for almost any other political narrative, including “Bridgegate.”