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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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NFL's Roger Goodell to hold a press conference, the first in 9 days. We'll have the latest.

NFL's Roger Goodell to hold a press conference, the first in 9 days. We'll have the latest.

January 21st, 2014
05:40 PM ET

New Jersey Democratic mayor defends Christie

(CNN) - It was not just New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's strong relationship with Republicans that led to his landslide re-election last year, but also the swell of support from New Jersey Democrats. Longbranch Mayor Adam Schneider, Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long, and Union City Mayor Brian Stack were among the many vocal backers of Christie during his second run for office.

In the midst of recent allegations of strong arming and political retribution against Christie's office, many of these Democrats have decided to stand by the governor.

Union City Mayor Brian Stack told CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" that he doesn't believe Christie knew anything about the bridge controversy. Stack said he is also dubious about the latest allegations from Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who said Sunday that Christie directly ordered the withholding of Superstorm Sandy recovery funds unless she backed a redevelopment plan he favored.

"I just think the story is far-fetched," said Stack. "My relationship with the governor and his staff and this administration has been one of the best."

"I've never had strong-arm tactics, in fact, they've gone out of their way to be helpful," said Stack.

But other Democrats paint a picture of Christie as someone who does things for you, if you are on his side. Stack endorsed fellow Democrat John Corzine in the last gubernatorial election, a move he calls a "huge mistake." He then reached out to Christie's office last year to endorse him.

Union City received a $2.9 million grant from the Port Authority in February.

"That's something I fought for for years, and Governor Christie has been the only one who's stepped up to the plate, and the Port Authority, and said Union City deserves (the grant), and we've done the work," said Stack.

For more of our interview with Mayor Brian Stack, check out the video above.

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