PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tuesday is Election Day. We are in the closing hours of many campaigns across the region, but the eyes of the nation are on New Jersey’s race for governor.
The campaign blitz is coming down to the wire as Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy looks to hold onto his seat, while his Republican challenger, former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, looks to unseat the incumbent.
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Political heavyweights like former President Barack Obama have campaigned for Murphy, lending their voice to help get out the vote.
Ciatterelli crisscrossed the state on Monday, while Murphy addressed the election on morning news outlets.
“In New Jersey, if we win — and that’s what we’re trying to do — then what we’ve been doing for the past four years is working and that folks wanna see more of it. We talked about a stronger, fairer New Jersey that works not just for some but for everybody,” Murphy said.
Murphy is touting first-term accomplishments like hiking the minimum wage, enacting paid sick leave, and stricter gun laws. He’s also become the face behind the Garden State’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with weekly press briefings, promoting mask and vaccine requirements.
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Murphy’s Republican opponent, Ciattarelli, has painted Murphy’s policies as extreme, saying his pandemic response and mask and vaccine mandates are too restrictive.
Ciattarelli has campaigned on lowering property taxes, improving infrastructure and standing with law enforcement.
Political experts say Ciattarelli is looking to appeal to moderates while still holding on to former President Donald Trump’s base.
“I think the one thing that New Jerseyans particularly look for more than anything else is transparency. We can’t all be in perfect agreement on all issues today. But I will tell you that the large block party, if you will, in New Jersey is the 2.4 million unaffiliated independent voters. Joe Biden is severely underwater with them, as is Phil Murphy,” Ciattarelli said.
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If Murphy wins, he will be the first Democratic governor in 44 years to be re-elected in New Jersey.
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