Sports Illustrated swimsuit models promote 'Jersey Strong' in 50th edition

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Sports,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,New Jersey,Chris Christie,Hurricane Sandy,Super Bowl

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his oft-mocked state are getting a one-two chance to improve their image this weekend thanks to sports.

Not only is Christie the host of the Super Bowl, being played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., but the editors of the 50th anniversary issue of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition are promoting the Garden State's beaches, rehabilitated since Hurricane Sandy.

Although Christie didn’t play a direct role in the edition, his administration gave the OK for SI to film at Island State Beach Park.

Good thing, because that’s where part of model Hannah Davis’ “Jersey Strong” campaign was shot for the magazine, images of which are just now leaking out in advance of the Feb. 18 unveiling of the must-have magazine for most males.

Picturing the models in Jersey instead of the typical exotic resorts should help the state’s Image, which the governor has been polishing since the October 2012 hurricane.

SI's Swim Daily website just dished this note with three images of Davis:

“In the coming weeks, Swim Daily will be rolling out exciting details and exclusive footage from the making of this milestone issue. Today, we start with two exclusive images from Island Beach State Park, one leg of Hannah Davis's ‘Jersey Strong’ campaign, which also shot in Cape May, the state’s southernmost point, as well as on the rehabilitated boardwalk of Seaside Heights. Highlighting Seaside, which was devastated by Superstorm Sandy ... holds special meaning for many of us in the Swimsuit family who were born and bred in the Garden State: editors MJ Day, Darcie Baum and editorial assistant Alyssa Conroy, photographer Walter Iooss, p.r. sage Scott Novak, founding editor Jule Campbell, as well as yours truly.”

SI added: “New Jersey & SI Swimsuit: Perfect Together.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at