Occupation: New Jersey governor
Previous TIME 100 appearances: 0
He's the austerity governor in an age of state-budget crises. Elected in November 2009, the combative Christie immediately set to work by slashing public funds, reducing benefits and pulling his state out of a costly commuter-tunnel project. Now considered a possible presidential candidate for 2012, the brash Republican has also seen his fair share of criticism. But he's closed an $11 billion deficit something almost no other state has been able to do.
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