TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy narrowly won reelection Wednesday, eking retired a triumph that spared Democrats the nonaccomplishment of a 2nd gubernatorial seat.
He’s the state’s archetypal Democratic politician to get a 2nd consecutive word successful 44 years, defeating Republican erstwhile Assembly subordinate Jack Ciattarelli.
AP called the contention Wednesday evening erstwhile a caller batch of votes from Republican leaning Monmouth County accrued Murphy’s pb and closed the doorway to a Ciattarelli comeback.
Ballots remaining to beryllium counted included a important fig of votes from predominantly Democratic Essex County, on with mail-in votes dispersed crossed different counties. Murphy has won the mail-in ballot by a wide borderline adjacent successful Republican leaning counties similar Monmouth.
Ciattarelli spokesperson Stami Williams disputed the telephone due to the fact that of the adjacent margin, calling it “irresponsible.”
Murphy was scheduled to talk aboriginal Wednesday.
Ciattarelli waged a formidable run successful heavy Democratic New Jersey, his spending astir equaling the governor’s and outpacing the GOP’s show 4 years ago. But Murphy’s advantages, including 1 cardinal much registered Democrats, proved excessively overmuch for the Republican to overcome.
The triumph gives Democrats a metallic lining aft GOP businessman Glenn Youngkin defeated Terry McAuliffe successful Virginia’s gubernatorial race — exacerbating worries that President Joe Biden’s sagging support ratings are hurting the party. This year’s elections were the archetypal large tests of elector sentiment since Biden took bureau and pointed to a potentially achy twelvemonth up for Democrats arsenic they effort to support bladed majorities successful Congress.
The closeness of the contention has amazed experts, who watched nationalist polls showing Murphy starring comfortably and looked to his party’s registration advantage.
“If you asked anybody respective months agone wrong the state, I deliberation anyone would person predicted a precocious treble digit landslide for Murphy,” said Ashley Koning, manager of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling astatine Rutgers University.
Voters came retired astatine overmuch higher rates for Ciattarelli this twelvemonth than they did for his GOP predecessor successful 2017. While campaigning, helium walked a enactment betwixt lasting up for the mean stances helium had successful the Legislature — similar supporting Roe v. Wade — and appealing to Republicans who embraced Trump, peculiarly connected taste issues that person captured attraction crossed the country.
Ciattarelli, who stepped down arsenic authorities Assembly subordinate successful 2018 to tally for governor, founded a aesculapian publishing institution called Galen Publishing, and held section and region positions successful Somerset.
Murphy’s triumph besides ends the much than three-decade-old inclination of the enactment other the president’s winning successful New Jersey’s off-year governor’s race.
The 64-year-old politician said helium was acutely alert of the governmental trends, calling them an “animating” unit for his reelection effort that spurred him to tally as if helium were 10 points behind.
Murphy built his run astir the progressive accomplishments helium signed into instrumentality — similar a phased-in $15 an hr minimum wage and paid sick permission on with taxes connected the affluent — and brought connected Democratic allies, similar progressive U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, to run for him.
With a Democrat-led Legislature, Murphy achieved astir of the promises helium made successful his archetypal tally 4 years agone erstwhile helium vied to win Republican Chris Christie. Taxpayer-financed assemblage assemblage and immoderate pre-K, tighter weapon laws, expanded voting access, recreational marijuana, much authorities assistance for schools and a afloat funded nationalist pension — each promised and each delivered during the archetypal term. A connection for a nationalist slope to concern projects went unfulfilled.
Murphy is simply a erstwhile Goldman Sachs enforcement and served arsenic ambassador to Germany nether erstwhile President Barack Obama, who campaigned for Murphy successful the weeks earlier Election Day.
He has said his adjacent word volition beryllium astir enacting a Reproductive Freedom Act aimed astatine codifying Roe v. Wade successful the authorities arsenic good arsenic further weapon power laws and the enlargement of taxpayer-financed pre-K for 3-year-olds.
Headwinds facing Democrats, similar President Joe Biden’s falling support ratings and legislature Democrats’ struggles to enact their agenda, didn’t origin heavy capable into immoderate experts’ preelection analysis, said Ben Dworkin, the manager of Rowan University’s Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship. He counted himself among them.
A spokesperson for Ciattarelli said Wednesday that the run was focused connected the ballot number and said a imaginable ineligible pursuit of a recount was connected the table. Murphy besides called Wednesday greeting for each ballot to beryllium counted.
New Jersey does not person an automatic recount law, but the candidates are permitted to petition one. The enactment that wants a recount indispensable record a suit successful State Superior Court successful the counties wherever they privation to contention tallies. That has to beryllium done wrong 17 days of Election Day.
Associated Press writer Christina Paciolla contributed to this report.