New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is scheduled to travel to Iowa next week to campaign for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the state where the first votes in the party’s nomination race will be cast on Jan. 3.

News of the visit coincides with the start today of Romney’s television advertising in Iowa promoting his credentials as a “conservative businessman.”

The two developments offer the latest signs that Romney is ramping up efforts to more aggressively compete in the Iowa caucuses as former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is campaigning in the state today, is getting a second look from the state’s Republican activists.

“Mitt Romney has always said that he would campaign and compete in Iowa,” Andrea Saul, a Romney spokeswoman, said in announcing the commercial. “He looks forward to participating in the two upcoming Iowa debates. Going on television is just another tool in getting Mitt Romney’s message out that Barack Obama has failed as a president.”

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