New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy narrowly won reelection Wednesday, eking out a victory that spared Democrats the loss of a second gubernatorial seat.
He’s the state’s first Democratic governor to get a second straight term in 44 years, defeating Republican former Assembly member Jack Ciattarelli.
AP called the race Thursday evening when a new batch of votes from Republican leaning Monmouth County increased Murphy’s lead and closed the door to a Ciattarelli comeback.
Ballots remaining to be counted included a significant number of votes from predominantly Democratic Essex County, along with mail-in votes spread across other counties. Murphy has won the mail-in vote by a wide margin even in Republican leaning counties like Monmouth.
Ciattarelli spokesperson Stami Williams disputed the call because of the close margin, calling it “irresponsible.”