Democrat Phil Murphy scored a decisive victory over Republican Kim Guadagno to become New Jersey’s next governor, topping the sitting lieutenant governor 55 percent to 43 percent. He will be joined by Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, who will be the second lieutenant governor in state history.

Murphy, a former ambassador to Germany and executive at Goldman Sachs investment bank, declared the days of divisive politics over.

“It will not be easy, and it certainly will not be overnight, but let there be no doubt: Starting here, starting now, starting with us, New Jersey is coming back,” he told a cheering crowd at his election headquarters in Asbury Park.

NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka said NJBIA was looking forward to working with the new governor.

“NJBIA is committed to working with Governor-elect Murphy and his staff on issues and policies most impacting New Jersey businesses and residents, including affordability, economic development and taxation, and regional competitiveness,” Siekerka said. “We look forward to having a seat at the table with the new governor to problem solve these issues and advance policies and actions that will build a more prosperous state; one where businesses can grow and sustain, and where people want to live, work and raise their families.”

In legislative races, Democrats largely held their own. Democrat Vin Gopal defeated veteran Republican Senator Jennifer Beck 53 percent to 47 percent in the 11th district, while Republican Assemblyman Chris Brown defeated Democrat Colin Bell for Senate 56 percent to 44 percent in Atlantic County’s 2nd district. Brown will take the seat held by Democrat Jim Whelan for the Republican’s lone pickup of the night.

In the 3rd district, Senate President Steve Sweeney fended off an attack from Republican Fran Grenier that was fueled largely with independent spending by the NJ Education Association (NJEA). The state’s largest teachers union targeted Democrat Sweeney over public employee pension reform in a race that will almost certainly break all spending records and could reach the $20 million mark.

In the end, however, Sweeney won with 59 percent of the vote.

Two statewide ballot questions also passed handily. Question 1 on library funding bonds received 60 percent of the vote and Question 2 to allot contamination damages received 69 percent.

Below are the unofficial vote totals for Governor and notable legislative races as reported by nj.com.

Governor / Lt. Governor Vote Tally Percentage
Kim Guadagno / Carlos A. Rendo (Republican) 858,735 43%
Philip Murphy / Shelia Oliver (Democrat) 1,119,516 55%

 

Legislative District 2 – Senate                        Vote Tally Percentage
Colin Bell (Democrat) 20,528 46%
Chris Brown (Republican) 24,170 54%

 

Legislative District 3 – Senate                         Vote Tally Percentage
Steve Sweeney (Democrat) 31,540 59%
Fran Grenier (Republican) 22,204 41%

 

Legislative District 11 – Senate                        Vote Tally Percentage
Vin Gopal (Democrat) 28,750 53%
Jennifer Beck (Republican) 25,108 47%

 

Legislative District 11 – Assembly                    Vote Tally Percentage
Eric Houghtaling (Democrat) 28,386 27%
Joann Downey (Democrat) 28,691 27%
Robert Acerra (Republican) 23,809 23%
Michael Whelan (Republican) 23,487 23%

 

Legislative District 16 – Assembly                 __ Vote Tally Percent 
Andrew Zwickler (Democrat) 31,974 27%
Roy Freiman (Democrat) 30,548 26%
Donna M. Simon (Republican) 28,905 24%
Mark Caliguire (Republican) 28,312 24%

 

Legislative District 38 – Senate     Vote Tally Percent 
Bob Gordon (Democrat) 28,790 57%
Kelly Langschultz (Republican) 21,860 43%