Christopher J. Christie today announced his intention to resign as U.S. Attorney of New Jersey on Dec. 1, fueling speculation he will run for governor.

Christie, a Republican, was appointed to the federal office seven years ago by President Bush and has said he would leave following the Nov. 4 election.

He resigned in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

Among Republican leaders, Christie is the political figure most favored to take on Democratic Gov. Corzine.

Corzine suffers from low approval ratings, although he has seen some small improvement recently.

No Republican has won a statewide office since former Gov. Christie Whitman was re-elected in 1997.