New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich the former Speaker of the House are amongst the finalists to be the running mate of Donald Trump, said sources on Thursday.

Christie a former rival of Trump has turned into his top defender. He received official paperwork for the process of vetting the possible running mates according to people close to the matter. Gingrich is seriously being considered for the VP job, said an adviser to Trump.

Trump said his intention is to announce his nominee for vice president in July during the Republican National Conventions to be held in Cleveland.

In choosing either Gingrich or Christie, Trump would be satisfying his desire of someone with strong political experience who is able to help him to advance his agenda through the U.S. Congress.

Others that are receiving consideration for the position include Senators Jeff Sessions from Alabama and Bob Corker from Tennessee, but another source of Trump’s said that information was not accurate.

The source said however, that there also could be a choice that would surprise many.

Although Christie was an opponent of Trump during the Republican primary, the two are long time friends and Trump was quickly endorsed by Christie, who became a presence at many events after the New Jersey governor dropped out of the GOP race.

The governor of New Jersey has not just been one of the biggest surrogates of Trump, but he continually defends him against his critics and is one of his biggest advisers behind the scenes, said one source familiar with their relationship.

Trump on Thursday during a speech said both Scott Brown, a former senator from Massachusetts and Christie were great people and were part of a shortlist of candidates for the VP position.

This is a big departure for Christie from what he sought initially in 2016, which was to win the nomination of the GOP.

Christie has known Trump for more than 14 years and claims the Republican presumptive presidential nominee is not racist, as some have claimed due to how bad he has talked about immigrants.

Christie has also helped Trump recruit both for fundraising and for endorsements. The fundraising side is hugely important at this time as Trump’s campaign is suffering from a lack of funds compared to other prior candidates at this stage of the election process.

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