RARITAN, NJ – New Jersey GOP candidate Jack Ciattarelli returned to where it all began, a podium in his hometown of Raritan to concede his election defeat to incumbent Democrat Governor Phil Murphy.
Ciattarelli said he consulted with his chief legal counsel Mark Sheridan before making the decision after Sheridan advised Ciattarelli that he has mathematically eliminated from the election. When asked if she should initiate a recount, Sheridan advised the candidate the margin of defeat was too large.
“I called Governor Murphy today and congratulated him on his re-election and wished him well in serving the people of New Jersey,” Ciattarelli said.
“I do not see this campaign as a failure,” he said. “I am proud of what we accomplished. I’m proud of how we helped invigorate the Republican Party.”
Ciattarelli said his support of down-ballot candidates helped the Republican party take seats in the state senate and assembly.
“To those who are disappointed that I am conceding…to those whose faith in our election system is shaken, to those who are angry that I’m not asking for a recount today, let me say this,” Ciattarelli said. “I’ve worked every day and night for 22 months. If you think I’d be standing here conceding if I thought I won this election, you couldn’t be more wrong. I hate to lose.”
Ciattarelli said the votes have been counted and there does not appear to be a path to victory for him, nor is there any basis for a recount. He also dismissed rumors of widespread voting fraud.
“So no, I see no proof that this election was stolen,” Ciattarelli said, instead of blaming Governor Murphy for the slow vote-counting process, saying that process gives rise to unfounded doubt and “conspiracy theories”.
“Voters deserve better,” he said.
Ciattarelli announced he will be running again for governor in 2025.