Wednesday, November 3rd
Election Update
As of Wednesday morning, the Governor’s race in New Jersey is too close to call despite pre-election polling indicating that incumbent Governor Phil Murphy would win by a large margin, with no pre-election day polls calling for former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli to win. There are currently 98% of precincts reporting with Governor Murphy taking the lead as of 9:56 a.m. by 1,408 votes, reversing the 1,193 vote lead Ciattarelli had overnight. Thousands of votes in Democratic-leaning areas have yet to be counted, which may be a path to victory for Governor Murphy. It is unclear how many vote-by-mail ballots have been included in the tallies, meanwhile provisional ballots won’t be opened until the last mail-in ballot is counted. Large Republican turnout in suburban areas that had swung blue in recent years and turnout in Republican stronghold counties resulted in a heated gubernatorial race. Governor Murphy is hoping to become the first Democrat in 44 years to be re-elected New Jersey’s Governor. Regardless of the result, the opposing side is likely to call for a recount given the narrow margins of the race. This indicates that a winner may not be declared in the near future.  

The gubernatorial election was not the only unexpectedly contested race in New Jersey yesterday evening. Several legislative races are too close to call with more than 524,000 mail-in votes cast in New Jersey that are still being tallied. In one of the most shocking potential political upsets of the night, Senate President Steve Sweeney is trailing opponent Edward Durr by 2,009 votes in the 2nd legislative district. The Senate President is the longest serving legislative leader and his loss would indicate a major realignment of politics in New Jersey, beginning with a search for the new Senate President. Elsewhere, Republicans won two major Senate races in South Jersey while many other races are still too close to call. Former Republican Assemblyman Vince Polistina defeated Democratic four-term Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo in the Atlantic County-based 2nd district. Democratic Senator Dawn Addiego, who switched parties in 2019, has been unseated by Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield in the 8th legislative district. Republican Lori Annetta is leading incumbent freshman Senator Vin Gopal by 490 votes with the remaining number of uncounted vote-by-mail ballots still unclear. In the 16th legislative district, former representative Republican Michael Pappas is leading Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker by 2,260 votes for the Senate seat and is likely to win the seat. Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick is likely to defeat Democrat Joseph Signorello for the Senate seat being vacated by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr.

In the Assembly, Republicans are projected to pick up 8 seats, reducing the Democratic majority to 44-36. Assemblyman John Burzichelli, who Chairs both the Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee, and Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro have lost their seats to Republicans Beth Sawyer and Bethanne McCarthy Patrick. Both Assemblymen are part of the 3rd district delegation with Senate President Sweeney. Also in South Jersey, Assemblyman John Armato in district 2 has lost his seat to Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian. Former Deputy Attorney General Claire Swift will fill the vacant second Assembly seat in the 2nd district delegation. In Central Jersey, district 16 is likely to flip with Republican Manville Councilman Joe Lukac and Hunterdon Central Regional Board of Education President Vincent Panico leading Assemblyman Roy Freiman and Democratic candidate Sadaf Jaffer. In the Monmouth County’s 11th district, Republicans Marilyn Piperno and Kimberly Eulner have unseated three-term Democratic incumbents Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey. 

Our staff will continue monitoring the situation and send updates with any pertinent information as the election results continue to be tallied. Please reach out to anyone on our staff if you have any further questions about last night’s election. 
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