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From left, Lisa Bhimani, Gov. Phil Murphy and Darcy Draeger. Photo by Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe.

Murphy makes one last visit to LD25

Governor headlines election day canvass launch

By Nikita Biryukov, November 05 2019 2:36 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy was in Morristown to give Democratic challengers in the 25th district a final election day push.

“Morris county in its entirety for too long was an away game for Democrats. Increasingly, under Chip’s leadership, step by step, brick by brick, it is coming our way,” Murphy said. “Legislative district 25 has been an away game for far too long for us. It is now at the knife’s edge. We now have the exact right candidates.”

Democrats Darcy Draeger and Lisa Bhimani are vying to win the district’s two Republican-held seats. They face State Sen. Anthony Bucco and Denville Councilman Brian Bergen.

The district, long out of reach for Democrats, has become host to one of the state’s closest legislative races. The New Jersey Globe rates it a toss-up.

Democrats there hold a seven-point edge in early vote by mail returns, but it’s yet unclear how ballots cast at the polls will change that margin apart from narrowing it.

Morris County Democratic Chairman Chip Robinson sees the race as winnable, and he wants to make sure Democratic volunteers don’t let up just because polls have opened.

“Here’s our message to you: We’re on the verge, for the first time since watergate, flipping the two 25th district legislative seats,” Robinson said.

For her part, Draeger is aiming to knock on another 200 doors Tuesday, adding to the roughly 10,000 she and Bhimani have personally hit since starting their campaign.

In either case, expect the contest to stay close.

“Just under seven hours to go,” Murphy said. “Don’t take your foot off the gas.”

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