By Gabriel Debenedetti
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican Governors Association, a group led by possible presidential hopeful Chris Christie, will announce Thursday that it raised $26.6 million in the second quarter of 2014.
The large haul - the group's biggest-ever second quarter number - means that embattled New Jersey Governor Christie has maintained his fundraising prowess while facing national scrutiny for his role in the "Bridgegate" scandal.
Christie has brought in $60 million since taking the helm of the group in November 2013, a signal to backers of his possible White House bid that he may be capable of raising the considerable funds required to run a national campaign despite the scandal.
The group, which is dedicated to helping elect Republican governors in the 36 ongoing governors' races, will also announce it has $70.3 million cash on hand.
"The RGA has never been in such a strong financial position," Christie says in the press release.
Four years ago, the RGA had $40 million in cash on hand, raising $19 million in the second quarter. At the time it was led by then-Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, another famously effective fundraiser.
Christie was widely considered the Republicans' best shot at reclaiming the White House when he easily won re-election in Democratic-leaning New Jersey in 2013. But the January news that his aides allegedly orchestrated a traffic jam for political payback hit his national standing.
Still, Christie has been raising money for and appearing with governors across the country.
(Reporting by Gabriel Debenedetti; editing by Andrew Hay)