Republican Ciattarelli to concede to Democrat Murphy in close NJ governor's race Friday

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New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli will concede the state’s governor’s race to incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday.

The GOP candidate has scheduled a press conference at 1 p.m. to “address the people of New Jersey about his campaign,” with sources close to his campaign Fox News that Ciattarelli plans to concede the race at the event.

Jack Ciattarelli 
(USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect)

Ciattarelli currently trails Murphy by nearly 3 points in the race, which has already been called by the Associated Press, a closer-than-expected result in what was widely thought to be safe for the Democrat.

The move comes several days after the Murphy Campaign called on Ciattarelli to concede, arguing he was “mathematically eliminated” from a chance at victory.

“The race is over,” Murphy’s campaign manager Mollie Binotto said in a statement Monday. “Assemblyman Ciattarelli is mathematically eliminated, and he must accept the results and concede the race. His continuing failure to do so is an assault on the integrity of our elections.”

ASBURY PARK, NJ – NOVEMBER 02: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

While the Ciattarelli Campaign did not believe that the remaining outstanding ballots would give the GOP candidate the lead, it did hold out hope that the last ballots to be counted could narrow the gap enough to warrant a recount.

“We will make the decision to pursue a recount based on all of the facts, which includes that this is the first time New Jersey is conducting an election under the new law, using new technology and vote counting procedures,” Ciattarelli’s legal counsel Mark Sheridan said Monday.


FILE – In this Monday, May 29, 2017, file photo, New Jersey Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

The campaign also sought to distance itself from claims of election fraud, stressing Monday that it was only seeking to ensure every legal vote was counted before considering their options.

“No one on this team is alleging fraud or malfeasance, as we have not seen any credible evidence of that,” the campaign said in a statement Monday.

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