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Ciattarelli to Concede New Jersey Gubernatorial Race to Incumbent Governor

Jack Ciattarelli, a Republican who challenged New Jersey incumbent governor Phil Murphy in the 2021 gubernatorial race, is expected to concede on Friday, reported the New Jersey Herald.

As of Thursday, Murphy leads Ciattarelli by nearly 74,000 votes with all votes counted, stated NJ.com, citing The Associated Press. Murphy received 51 percent of the votes while Ciattarelli got 48 percent, according to NJ.com.

On Monday, Murphy called on his challenger to concede saying, “When it’s mathematically impossible to win, I think it’s dangerous” to not concede, reported the New Jersey Globe.

On Nov. 3, The Associated Press declared the Democrat governor winner, with 98 percent of precincts reporting and with more than 2.3 million votes cast.

Tallying votes in New Jersey took longer than expected as the state implemented this year new technology to support the election, including new voting machines. For example, in Paterson, election officials could not count ballots because they accidentally locked the machines, according to the New Jersey Herald.

In Newark and some other New Jersey cities, poll workers in 56 districts did not count votes due to “poll worker error,” reported the New Jersey Herald. A judge order was needed to reinstate their access to the machines.

Ciattarelli is a former New Jersey assemblyman, a certified public accountant, a two-time small-business owner, and a lifelong resident of New Jersey.

He campaigned under the banner “Let’s Fix New Jersey.” He told New Jerseyans that, as a governor, he would address the state’s most pressing issues, such as the highest property taxes in the nation, state government overspending, insufficient support for local and state police, and reforming public school curriculum. Ciattarelli also promised to foster business growth and create more jobs in the state.

Murphy has held leadership roles at Goldman Sachs’s offices in Germany and Hong Kong for more than 20 years and served as an ambassador to Germany during the Obama administration. He was also a finance chair for the Democratic National Committee.

He campaigned on a range of policies implemented during his tenure as governor, such as tax fairness for middle-class families, minimum wage at $15 an hour, more affordable public education, more child care, Democrat-backed green policies, and legalizing marijuana. His campaign’s slogan was: “It’s about how we move forward.”

Murphy was endorsed by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for reelection, and former President Barack Obama and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stumped for Murphy at his campaign rallies.

The incumbent governor is the first Democrat to win reelection in New Jersey since Brendan Byrne in 1977.

He won his first term in 2017 with 56 percent of the vote, beating Republican then-Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno who received 42 percent of the vote.

Ella Kietlinska

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Ella Kietlinska is a New York-based reporter for The Epoch Times.

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