Gov. Murphy declares victory after AP calls race; thousands of ballots not counted yet
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy narrowly won reelection Wednesday, eking out a victory that spared Democrats the loss of a second gubernatorial seat. He will serve a second term, but the numbers remain close.
WATCH: Gov. Murphy delivers victory speech hours after projections showed him winning reelection bid
Thousands of mail-in and provisional ballots haven't been counted yet, but the race was declared for Murphy last night.
Camden County is one of the last to get all of their districts in. Just before midnight last night, they hit 98%, but they say they still have some to count -- and they're not alone.
"I am humbled to be the first democratic governor reelected in the great state of New Jersey since my dear friend, the late Gov. Brendan Byrne did this in 1977,” says Gov. Murphy.
The governor declared victory last night in Asbury Park after the Associated Press announced him as the winner over Republican Jack Ciattarelli by a razor thin margin.
In a victory speech last night, Gov. Murphy didn't acknowledge the close race between him and Republican Jack Ciattarelli, but instead focused on his accomplishments in his first term as governor, and how he will move New Jersey forward.
"So, tonight, I renew my promise to you, whether you voted for me or not, to work every single day of the next four years to keep moving us forward," says Gov. Murphy. "Forward with renewed optimism to ensure greater opportunities for all 9.3 who call this great state home."
But at the time the AP announced Murphy as the winner, not all votes have been counted. In Essex County, the clerk says they just received the court order to retrieve the results from voting machines that were previously locked. They say they should have nearly all votes counted by late this afternoon, except for some mail-in.
Camden County is also still counting about 5,800 provisional ballots, with mail-ins still coming in as well.
Ciattarelli has not yet conceded and did not speak publicly Wednesday, but his campaign did make a statement on Twitter after the AP call, saying, "With the candidates 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."