By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — It’s the first official step on the path to a 2016 Presidential run for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He has formed a Political Action Committee, which will allow him to start fundraising efforts.

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The formation of the PAC, called Leadership Matters for America, is no surprise to Rider University Political Science Professor Ben Dworkin. The timing, however, is significant. Many thought the move would be made this spring. But…

“When Jeb Bush started making his move and then Mitt Romney started talking aggressively about getting himself back into the ring,” Dworkin says, “these are people who are going to be reaching out directly to key donors who had previously been lined up with Chris Christie.”

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With the eventual GOP nominee needing to raise at least a half-billion dollars to make a credible run, Dworkin says the serious hopefuls have to start doing that now.

“Once there’s competition for the mega-donors, these people who not only can give themselves but find hundreds of others to give significant amounts, you can’t afford to have somebody else snatch your supporters away.”

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But forming a PAC does not guarantee Christie will become a formal candidate.