BANGOR — In a brief but exuberant political rally Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told a crowd of more than 200 that Republican Gov. Paul LePage is the only candidate with the gumption and heart to lead Maine for the next four years.

“Paul LePage governs from the heart, speaks from the heart and he loves Maine,” Christie said during a fundraiser at the Bangor Banquet and Conference Center. “That’s why he does what he does every day, and that’s why we need four more years of those days.”

Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, has pledged his group’s support for LePage, and so far the well-funded organization has delivered, spending freely to run television advertisements espousing LePage’s first-term record and talking up his character.

With LePage at his side, Christie repeated that theme Tuesday, calling LePage a family friend.

“He’s got the honesty, the integrity, the loyalty and the toughness to do the job of governor the right way,” Christie said.

LePage faces a re-election challenge from Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud and independent Eliot Cutler. Most polls show LePage and Michaud in a tight race, with Cutler trailing.

After brief mentions of LePage’s first-term accomplishments, Christie took a gentle poke at LePage’s penchant for speaking freely in public, often drawing attention and criticism.

“The thing you know about Paul LePage, you might not agree with every word that comes out of his mouth everyday,” Christie said.

From the crowd someone cried out, “I do! I do!”

A hearty laugh rolled through the crush of Republicans.

In his own remarks, LePage was brief, and urged people to get their friends to turn out on Election Day.

“We really need everyone here to get two, three, four, five people to the polls,” LePage said. “It’s about getting the vote out.”

Christie’s visit, his fourth to the state in support of the governor, comes in the waning days of an intense, three-way campaign for the Blaine House in which independent political groups such as Christie’s have played a bigger role than in years past. The banquet followed a campaign stop at Quirk Auto Park.

Christie hop-scotched between gubernatorial battleground states on Tuesday, spending the earlier part of the day in Maryland and Rhode Island. Later this week he will continue his tour in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Iowa.

The Maine visit comes as the three gubernatorial candidates make their final pushes for voters’ support throughout the state, including high-profile rallies and endorsements from political elites on both sides of the aisle.

Michaud, who is LePage’s closest challenger in recent polls, has already welcomed former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and a visit from President Barack Obama is scheduled for Thursday.​​