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Jack Ciattarelli. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe).

Ciattarelli camp still sees path to win

By David Wildstein, November 08 2021 9:58 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy’s lead increased by 2,191 votes on Monday and is now 67,595 votes ahead of Republican Jack Ciattarelli, 50.95% to 48.28%.

But the Ciattarelli campaign says there is still a path to victory, so they are going to wait for the final count before any talk of concession, and suggested the final number “could warrant a full recount.”

“We understand that Governor Murphy and his team are embarrassed that in a state with 1 million more registered Democrats and where Joe Biden won by 16 points, they are leading by such a small margin,” said Chris Russell, Ciattarelli’s top strategist.  “But the Murphy campaign’s attempt to spin their lackluster performance will have no impact on our decision.”

The GOP campaign blamed new election laws passed over the last few years that have resulted in a “disjointed and excruciatingly slow vote counting process.”  They estimated about 70,000 uncounted provisional ballots; earlier today, the Murphy campaign put that number at 57,400.

Ciattarelli’s campaign counsel, Mark Sheridan, pushed back on a call by Murphy campaign manager Mollie Binotto to concede.

“Waiting an additional day or two for all votes to be counted should not be controversial,” Sheridan stated.  “Let me be clear, no one on this team is alleging fraud or malfeasance, as we have not seen any credible evidence of that.”

Three combined votes of the three independent gubernatorial candidates are at three-quarters of one percent.

In the Monmouth County-based 11th district, where Democratic Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold) trails by 376 votes, a Green Party candidate, Dominique Faison, won 1,113 votes.

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