Ciattarelli formally relinquishes Phil Murphy in New Jersey

New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli acknowledged his defeat in the state governor’s race against the governor on Friday. Phil MurphyPhil MurphyBloomberg vows to spend $ 0 million to combat fatal drug overdoses New Jersey Senate President Sweeney admits in dramatic upset Democrats begin bombing to sell infrastructure MORE (D), more than a week after the race for the incumbent was called.

Ciattarelli, a former state assemblyman, said his campaign had come to the conclusion that he couldn’t beat Murphy’s nearly 3-point margin after days of monitoring the vote count and insisting it was too early to throw in the towel. .

“So I called Governor Murphy earlier today and congratulated him on his re-election and I wished him the best in serving the people of New Jersey,” Ciattarelli said at a news conference Friday.

The announcement marks the end of what had been a surprisingly tight gubernatorial election.

Polls had shown Murphy, who was first elected in 2017, with a comfortable lead, albeit one that had shrunk to the middle or high single digits. As such, the race was on the radars of few operatives.

However, on Election Day last week, Ciattarelli held Murphy until the early hours of the next morning, sparking speculation that he could pull off a surprise in a state. President BidenJoe BidenBiden and Xi of China to hold virtual summit on Monday: Briahna Joy Gray reports: Biden ‘plays dumb’ with cancellation of student debt Defense and national security – Biden celebrates Veterans Day MORE carried by 16 points last year.

Murphy didn’t come forward until several hours after the polls closed, when late counts finally began to arrive from the heavily tilted Democratic areas.

Ciattarelli’s campaign in the following days refused to budge, insisting that there was still a way to go given Murphy’s narrow margin and pending ballots that remained to be counted.

While that calculation ended on Friday, Ciattarelli said he was “proud” of the campaign he ran.

“I do not see the result of this election as a failure. On the contrary, I am proud of what our campaign accomplished, proud of how we helped revitalize the Republican Party and mobilize new people who have never been involved before, ”he said.

In addition to conceding, Ciattarelli also tried to quell any speculation from his party’s pockets that suggested the election was marred by fraud.

“To those who are disappointed in what I am granting them, to those who have broken faith in our electoral system, to those who are angry that I am not asking for a recount today, let me tell you this: I have worked every day and every night. . for 22 months to become governor of New Jersey. If you think I would be here today conceding if I thought I won this election, you couldn’t be more wrong, “he said. “I hate to lose”.

“Enough votes have been counted. There does not appear to be a path to victory or the basis for a recount, nor are we aware of any systemic or widespread fraud. So no, I don’t see any proof that this election is stolen. ”

Despite his loss, Ciattarelli drew national attention with his tighter-than-expected challenge to Murphy, predicting he will be racing again in four years. a campaign that would likely be fueled by more support from the establishment than it received this year.

“That is exactly my plan,” he said. “I will run for governor in four years.”

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