Update: NBC News and the New York Times have also called the race for Phil Murphy.
The Associated Press has called the New Jersey Governor’s race for the Democratic incumbent, Phil Murphy.
The AP is reporting Murphy with a 19,294-vote lead, 50%-49%, over his Republican challenger, former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli.
If his lead holds, Murphy would become the first Democratic incumbent to win a second term since Brendan Byrne in 1977.
Both candidates went home on Tuesday evening without knowing the winner. The last time that happened in New Jersey was in 1981, when Republican Thomas Kean was declared the winner 27 days later. He beat Democrat Jim Florio by 1,677 votes.
Murphy is set to deliver a victory speech at 10 PM tonight in Asbury Park.
On election night, Murphy said he would wait for all votes to be counted.
“Gov. Murphy provided trusted leadership throughout the pandemic, navigating health and economic crises to emerge with a stronger and fairer New Jersey,” said New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the Democratic Governors Association chair.
The Ciattarelli campaign and the Republican State Committee issued a joint statement deriding the Associated Press for calling the race tonight.
“Phil Murphy and Jack Ciattarelli are 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.”
The New Jersey Globe has not yet called the gubernatorial contest.