TRENTON – If you’re a one-issue voter, and tax rate is your issue, New Jersey isn’t your state, but New Jersey will be Governor Phil Murphy’s state for the next four years.
Murphy won over former State Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli. The votes were still being counted as of press time, but enough tallies had come in to declare the winner. It was an extremely close race and a nail biter as the results came almost a full 24 hours after the polls closed on Tuesday.
New Jersey has far more registered Democrats than Republicans – so much so that when predictions are made of where New Jersey’s electoral votes go, it’s solidly in the blue.
Ciattarelli challenged Murphy on the state’s high taxes, slamming him in ads using the governor’s own words, paraphrased at the top of this article. Murphy also faced much criticism on his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. People were worried that if the numbers increased again, we would face mask mandates and another shutdown which destroyed many businesses and livelihoods.
However, Democrats showed the high COVID rates of GOP-led states like Florida and Texas, where there are far more deaths per capita than here. They also questioned Ciattarelli’s plans once he got into office. He was painted as too Trump-like for centrists and not Trump enough for the far right.
Ciattarelli made several trips to Ocean County, such as Republican strongholds like Jackson and Lacey, in order to drum up support. The GOP presence is so strong in this county that any Republican candidate needs to win this county in a big way in order to make a dent in the Democrat portions to the north and south.
While the poll results were coming in, it was clear that Ciattarelli won Ocean County but not the state.
In Ocean County, Ciattarelli received 141,482 votes to Murphy’s 65,176. These figures were unofficial, since the county clerk has to certify them at a later date.