‘I don’t change my stripes.’ Gov. Murphy says he will continue his work in 2nd term
Gov. Phil Murphy has seemingly broken the curse and has become the first Democrat to be reelected in 44 years in New Jersey, following the Associated Press projection he would win.
The governor was in New Brunswick on Friday for his first news conference since the election.
“I think I’ve proven this, I don’t change my stripes,” Murphy said.
He said that his takeaway from his narrow win over Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli is to stay the course and to keep doing what he has been doing for the last four years.
“There’s a lot of, a lot of hurt. A lot of people screaming out basically saying, ‘I need help’… and ‘I need government to step in because no one else is stepping in,’” Murphy said. “I’ve said from moment one that we’re pragmatic, pro-growth progressives. Stronger and fairer.”
Ciattarelli has not yet conceded and is demanding that every vote be counted before anyone declares victory – something Murphy himself said just after midnight on election night.
“We’re going to wait for every vote to be counted and that’s how our democracy works,” Murphy said at the time.
He declared victory less than a day later after the Associated Press projected he would win the race.
“When everybody calls an election and they’re institutions that are viewed as gold standards, that’s your signal you can step up and say, ‘I declare victory,’” Murphy said.
The governor also reacted to the news that longtime state Senate President Steve Sweeney lost reelection to Republican political newcomer Edward Durr.
“I’m stunned. This guy who is apparently winning is a dangerous guy,” Murphy said, of Durr.
Although Sweeney and Murphy have clashed in the past, the governor said he was not happy to see Sweeney go.
“I do not welcome this in any way, shape or form. Steve has been a great partner, particularly over the last two, two and a half years,” he said.
Republicans in Trenton say that they heard the exact opposite message from voters. They say that they believe voters elected many Republicans because they were angered by government requirements during the pandemic and high taxes.
Republicans do not have the majority in Trenton, but they did make their biggest gains in the State House in 30 years.