Shaq to back Democrat after GOP Christie endorsement in ’13

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey native and former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal is backing Democrat Phil Murphy in this year’s contest to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Murphy campaign spokesman Dan Bryan says O’Neal will formally endorse Murphy on Monday. He had no further details.

O’Neal backed Christie in his 2013 re-election bid, calling the governor a “great man” and even appearing in an ad for him. Christie cannot seek re-election because of term limits.

Murphy is leading GOP Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno in polls ahead of the Nov. 7 election.

Shaq was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016. He was an instant box office draw during his career because of his mammoth frame and rim-shaking dunks. He also exhibited a personality that was as playful as it was engaging.

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