Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) was narrowly reelected as New Jersey governor as of 6:26 p.m. today after a close race yesterday between him and Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli, according to The Associated Press.
This makes Murphy the first Democratic governor of New Jersey to be reelected for a consecutive term since 1977.
"Though it hasn’t been easy, we have made history tonight," Murphy said on Twitter. "The people of this great state have asked us to continue the progress we have made across the past four years."
Approximately 90 percent of votes have been reported as of 7:42 p.m. At the time, Murphy held 50.03 percent of the vote, and Ciattarelli held 49.22 percent. The margin was below 20,000 votes, with Murphy holding 1,211,457 votes and Ciattarelli holding 1,192,017 votes.
“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,” said Ciattarelli spokesperson Stami Williams.
Ciattarelli held the lead for much of yesterday and had 49.7 percent of the vote at 7:30 a.m. earlier today, compared to Murphy’s 49.6 percent, making the election too close to call at the time, The Daily Targum reported.
This year’s elections employed both in-person and mail-in voting, and New Jersey offered early in-person voting for the first time, the Targum reported. Many polling locations in the state faced issues with electronic poll books that newly replaced paper ones in some counties. Additional mail-in ballots postmarked by 8 p.m. yesterday will be counted until this upcoming Monday.
Editor's Note: This article was updated to include a quote from Murphy.