Murphy Declares Victory in Asbury Park, Up By 29,000, Votes Still Being Counted

Last night, Democratic Governor Phil Murphy formally declared victory in the New Jersey gubernatorial election, hours after the Associated Press was the first media outlet to declare he had defeated his Republican opponent Jack Ciattarelli, the former Assemblyman.  The Governor’s victory speech at the Asbury Park Convention Center came around 10 pm.

Despite the declaration, there are still more votes to be counted in this race, the closest gubernatorial election in New Jersey in decades when Republican Tom Kean, Sr. narrowly edged out Democrat Jm Florio by slightly less than 2,000 votes.  With 98 percent of the votes counted as of this morning, Murphy leads Ciattarelli by 29,000 votes, 50 percent to 49 percent.

Many Vote by Mail Ballots, Provisional Ballots, Absentee Ballots, Early Voting Ballots still need to be tabulated.  The Vote by Mails cannot be counted until November 8.

Large sections of Essex and Camden Counties, both Democratic strongholds, have yet to be counted.  There are still votes from Monmouth and Ocean counties, traditionally a Republican stronghold, not tabulated.

With the traditionally Democratic hotbed region of Gloucester County surprisingly going to Ciattarelli by 10 percentage points on Tuesday, four years after Murphy won the county by 10 percentage points, it comes as no surprise that Ciattarelli is upset at the declaration that Murphy won re-election with more votes remaining on the table, having yet to be counted.

After the AP declared the race for Murphy, the Ciattarelli campaign called the media “irresponsible” for making the declaration so early when “the New Jersey Secretary of State still does not know how many ballots are left to be counted.”

Once all of the votes have been officially counted, it is possible that Ciattarelli, if he remains behind Murphy, can ask for a recount.

Below is the text of the Governor’s victory speech last night at the Asbury Park Conventional Hall:

“You know, we just had the most New Jersey experience…

I was on my way someplace and it took us longer to get there than we planned.

As a matter of fact, some might say it took 44 years to get here.

I am humbled to be the first Democratic governor reelected since my dear friend, Governor Brendan Byrne, did this in 1977.

Thank you, New Jersey.

Thank you for putting your trust in our team for another four years.

Thank you for saying we need to keep moving forward on our shared journey to a stronger and fairer New Jersey.

In New Jersey, we know how to make forward work from the middle out and the bottom up.

And we know how to move forward and accomplish big things.

We are a national leader in raising the minimum wage …

In making millionaires pay their fair share to give working families and the middle class a break …

In education, with the best public schools in the entire country …

In defending women’s health and funding Planned Parenthood …

In protecting the Affordable Care Act to make healthcare more affordable …

In making childcare more available and affordable…

In making a college education more affordable…

In expanding paid family leave and pre-K…

In securing our democracy by expanding voting rights …

In proudly being the quintessential pro-union state …

In creating a clean energy economy with good jobs…

In commonsense gun safety …

In recovering from Covid by following science…

In rebuilding from Covid by bringing people together and helping small businesses get back on their feet. ..

And, by always remembering every soul taken by this pandemic.

If you want to know what the future looks like, come to New Jersey.

If you want to understand where America is heading, look to New Jersey.

And, if you want to be governor for all of New Jersey, you must listen to all of New Jersey.

And New Jersey, I hear you.

So, tonight, I renew my promise to you — whether you voted for me or not — to work every single day of the next four years to keep moving us forward.

Forward with renewed optimism to ensure greater opportunities for all nine-point-three million who call this great state home.

Forward with a deeper sense of fairness and a commitment to equity.

Forward by rejecting the divisiveness and chaos that permeate too much of our politics.

In short, forward by living up to our Jersey Values.

To everyone who made tonight possible …

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver …

Chairman Leroy Jones and Vice-Chair Peg Schaffer …

Our campaign team led by Mollie Binotto and Jackie Burns …

The thousands of volunteers who knocked on doors and made phone calls …

Our friends in organized labor who stood tall in support of us and our mission …

Everyone. Thank you all so much!

Most importantly, I thank my family, many of whom are here, and I especially thank the chair of our campaign, the finance chair of our campaign, and New Jersey’s all-time greatest First Lady, Tammy Murphy.

And the four most important things that Tammy and I have ever accomplished — Josh, Emma, Charlie, and Sam Murphy. We love you all so much.

Before I close, I will go back to where I started, with my dear friend Governor Brendan Byrne, who was the last Democrat to be elected to a second term all the way back in 1977.

In his second inaugural address, Governor Byrne concluded by noting, “We shall be judged in the long-run not by how we fared in elections, but by what we did as an administration.”

These are the words that Sheila and I, and our team, and each and every single one of us, have lived every single day the past four years and will live by every day for the next four years as we continue the work to make New Jersey ever stronger and ever fairer.

And they will remind us to always, always, always, keep moving forward.

Again, thank you!

May God bless you all, and may God continue to bless the great State of New Jersey and the United States of America.”

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