Jack Ciattarelli, a businessman and former state assemblyman, has conceded his strong election challenge to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.
In the end, Ciattarelli polled more than 1.25 million votes, garnering 48 percent and trailing the heavily favored incumbent by just three percent. After leading Gov. Murphy most all of election night in a razor-tight count, Ciattarelli had affirmed the fairness of the vote and called for the tabulation to continue while many tens of thousands of ballots remained to be tallied.
In his concession speech, the challenger thanked his supporters, and also tipped another gubernatorial campaign in four years. Ciattarelli stated, “The fact is, we almost did win. Why? Because every single time misguided politicians take this state too far off track, the great people of this state push, pull, and prod it right back to where it belongs, right back to where it needs to be: the common-sense center. I do not see the result of this election as a failure.” He added: “That is exactly my plan. I’ll be running for governor in four years.”
The closeness of the result comes as no surprise to NFIB members and small business owners who enthusiastically supported Ciattarelli and his common sense, pro-Main-Street campaign. Ciattarelli was proud to receive the endorsement of NFIB New Jersey PAC, and he spoke with members and fielded questions at an NFIB town hall. He also toured an NFIB member business.
All told, despite the ultimately disappointing result for the top office, small business scored a strongly successful election effort. NFIB made 46 endorsements for the state legislature, a 91.3 percent win-rate for the bipartisan slate of pro-small-business candidates. Including the gubernatorial endorsement, NFIB NJ PAC won 89.4 percent overall.
Said NFIB NJ State Director Eileen Kean, “NFIB members and small business owners can be proud of the efforts we made together in this election. NFIB helped elect and reelect pro-small-business candidates across the state. The new legislature will have more lawmakers who understand our issues and the importance of New Jersey small business. And Jack Ciattarelli’s outstanding race for governor, though ultimately falling just short, put New Jersey’s Main Street businesses and their challenges front and center in this campaign. I am optimistic that our message was heard, and that we can work for bipartisan, common-sense policies next year.”