The Hill reports:
Ciattarelli, a former state assemblyman, said his campaign had concluded that he could not overcome the nearly 3-point margin Murphy had after days of keeping an eye on the vote tally and insisting that it was too early to throw in the towel.
“And so I called Gov. Murphy earlier today and congratulated him on his reelection and wished him well in serving the people of New Jersey,” Ciattarelli said at a press conference Friday.
The announcement marks an end to what had been a stunningly tight gubernatorial election.
Polls had shown Murphy, who was first elected in 2017, with a comfortable lead, albeit one that had winnowed down to the mid- to high-single digits. As such, the race was on few operatives’ radars.
“I do not see the result of this election as a failure. On the contrary, I am proud of what our campaign accomplished, proud of how we helped reinvigorate the Republican Party and mobilize new people who had never been involved before,” he said.