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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy ends in Mercer

Governor picks Trenton church for final stop ahead of election day

By Nikita Biryukov, November 04 2019 7:36 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy ended election day eve in a Trenton church, giving Mercer Democrats one last push before polls open tomorrow morning.

“You’ve got three incredible districts with six incredible Assemblymen and women. You’ve got Verlina and Anthony who represent Trenton in their district, but I promise you not only are they great, the other four are terrific,” Murphy said. “They deserve our support. They deserve victory tomorrow, and that’s exactly what will happen.”

Murphy spoke to dozens of attendees in auditorium in Trenton’s Shiloh Baptist Church, where months earlier a group of black pastors gathered to push his proposal for a millionaire’s tax.

The proposal didn’t come up Monday. Tomorrow’s races were front and center, and Murphy was keen that none in attendance mistakenly think the election was over.

“Let’s run through the tape,” Murphy said. “We’ve got about 25 hours to go. Let’s not let any of those hours or any of those minutes go to waste. It’s a low turnout election … Not only does our vote always count, but when the denominator is as low as it is tomorrow, your vote really counts.”

Only one of Mercer’s three legislative districts, the 16th, is expected to host a competitive race.

There, Assemblymen Roy Freiman and Andrew Zwicker face challenges from former Somerset County Freeholder Mark Caliguire and former Montgomery Mayor Christine Madrid.

The New Jersey Globe rates that race as leaning Democratic.

It’s worth noting that Democrats are also aiming to take over Hamilton, the ninth largest municipality in the state.

There, Council President Jeff Martin is seeking to oust Republican Mayor Kelly Yaede.

Murphy’s appearance at the church ends a four-day-long sprint to energize voters in the state’s competitive districts, though the governor and First Lady Tammy Murphy most often stuck to districts in the Northern half of the state.

They visited Mercer a number of times, and it’s not likely that Democratic leaders there will forget that.

“The governor has done every single thing that Mercer County Democrats have asked him to do, that I have asked him to do,” longtime Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes told the crowd.

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