Republican Ciattarelli concedes New Jersey governor race

RARITAN (N.J.) -- New Jersey Republican Jack Ciattarelli announced Friday that he had conceded the race to Phil Murphy for governor, more than a week following election day. However, he said that he will run again in four years.

Republican Ciattarelli concedes New Jersey governor race

RARITAN (N.J.) -- New Jersey Republican Jack Ciattarelli announced Friday that he had conceded the race to Phil Murphy for governor, more than a week following election day. However, he said that he will run again in four years.

Murphy was elected the first Democratic governor to win reelection in 44 years, . However, the margin with Ciattarelli (a former Assembly member) was only about 3 points. This is much closer than what public polls showed. In a state with 1 million more registered Democrats, the contest was close.

"I called Gov. "I called Gov. Murphy earlier today, and congratulated his reelection. And wished him luck," Ciattarelli stated during a press conference packed with supporters in Raritan. He said that his grandparents, who were Italian immigrants 100 years ago, had called Ciattarelli.

Ciattarelli avoided criticizing the election results. He had a lead after Nov. 2 polls closed. However, that lead evaporated when officials counted mail in ballots that were heavily Democratic. He said that no matter what outcome, he was certain the election would be fair.

Friday's question to Ciattarelli asked him what his future plans were. He recalled the events of four years ago after he unsuccessfully ran for governor.

He said that he was once asked the same question, and replied that he would run for office in 2021. This defied advice from a political consultant, who advised him to form an exploratory commission before he announced his intentions.

Ciattarelli stated Friday that New Jersey residents won't tolerate this kind of hedging.

He said, "Why not just tell them what you're doing?"

When asked if he would run for re-election in 2025, he replied: "That's exactly what I plan."

He stated that the top priorities will be lowering the state's property tax -- which is among the highest in the nation at an average of over $9,000 per year -- and reducing state government size.

Murphy was reelected after he endorsed a range of progressive policies including raising taxes on the wealthy, increasing the minimum wage, and signing legislation that requires paid sick leave.

Murphy's plans to run for another left-leaning term in the second term have not been affected by Murphy's narrow win. However, Murphy will face smaller majority in the Legislature and the defeat of Senate President Steve Sweeney , which Democrats announced Friday that they will replace with Senator Nicholas Scutari in the new term.

Murphy acknowledged Ciattarelli's concession Friday, saying that "Over the next 4 years, we will govern the same way we have since the beginning -- committed to building an stronger and fairer New Jersey."

Murphy stated, "I thank the Assemblyman and his wife Melinda for a spirited campaign" and their dedication to public service.

Murphy was declared the winner by the Associated Press the day after Election Day. A new set of votes from Republican-leaning Monmouth County boosted Murphy's lead, closing the door for a Ciattarelli return.

Updated Date: 14 November 2021, 11:07

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