New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli plans to officially concede his closely fought race with Democrat Phil Murphy during a press conference Friday at 1 p.m.
“By Thursday, Mr. Murphy’s lead had reached 2.9 points — a full percentage point greater than the margin of victory in Virginia, where the former Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, conceded his race against a Republican businessman, Glenn Youngkin, the morning after polls closed,” The New York Times reported.
The day after the election, outlets began calling the race after Ciattarelli trailed by just 19,000 votes. He called the decision “irresponsible” and said he would wait until all legal votes were counted.
“Phil Murphy and Jack Ciattarelli are 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,” his campaign said in a statement.
Ciattarelli admits that a final tally is unlikely to swing the election in his favor, but he won’t concede until all votes are counted. https://t.co/SV7rP0HzUv
— NJ Spotlight News (@NJSpotlightNews) November 9, 2021
In addition to the close race, 56 precincts had late vote counts due to errors with poll worker operation of voting machines in Essex County. The county was largely Democrat and later vote counts only increased Murphy’s lead.
The most surprising aspect of the race was how close the battle ended. Pollsters expected the election to be a Democrat blowout. Instead, the challenge ended with a count so closely the announcement was delayed by days.
The conclusion shows the GOP has made tremendous gains in the Garden State, something future elections will need to prepare for if Democrats wish to stay in power.