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%|