Gov. Phil Murphy narrowly wins reelection in New Jersey after Republican surge took vote to the wire: Becomes the first Democrat in more than 40 years to win second term in the Garden State

ASBURY PARK, NJ – NOVEMBER 02: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy speaks during an election night event at Grand Arcade at the Pavilion on November 2, 2021 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. New Jersey residents went to the polls Tuesday to vote in the gubernatorial race where Murphy faced off against Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

The New Jersey gubernatorial race was officially called for Democrat Phil Murphy Wednesday evening after the contest was deemed too close to call nearly 24 hours after polls closed.

Murphy won by a razor-thin margin – 50 per cent to 49.2 per cent – in a state expected to be a landslide for President Joe Biden’s party.

With the victory, the incumbent governor became the first Democrat to win a gubernatorial reelection in New Jersey in more than 40 years.

Republican candidate Jack Ciattarelli protested the call with a retweet from a post made by his communications director.

‘With the candidates separated by a fraction of a percent out of 2.4 million ballots cast, it’s irresponsible of the media to make this call when the New Jersey Secretary of State doesn’t even know how many ballots are left to be counted,’ Stami Williams tweeted Wednesday after the AP called the election for Murphy.

Murphy led Ciattarelli, a former New Jersey State lawmakers, by more than 16,000 votes Wednesday afternoon when 11 per cent of counties had yet to report, pulling out a wider lead thanks to returns from heavily-blue Mercer County, where the state capital of Trenton is located.

Some have speculated the election could come down to a recount.

Unlike some places, New Jersey does not have any minimum requirements or guidelines for an automatic recount. A candidate or group of at least 10 voters can petition a Superior Court judge for a recount up to 17 days after the election.

The race has also been plagued by counting issues that led to vote tallies being doubled in one county and election workers accidentally locking machines in others.

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Source: Daily Mail