Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy wins re-election -AP

(Reuters) – Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy won a second term, defeating Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli, Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

Murphy, 64, is the first Democratic governor to win re-election in New Jersey in four decades. He has overseen a shift to the left in the state, including new taxes on millionaires, stricter gun restrictions, a higher minimum wage and paid sick leave. He has also defended his robust approach to the coronavirus pandemic, including mandating masks in schools.

Ciattarelli, 59, a former state lawmaker, had focused much of his campaign on the state’s high taxes, while accusing Murphy, a wealthy former Goldman Sachs executive, of being out of touch.

New Jersey has trended steadily Democratic in recent years. The party won 10 of the state’s 12 U.S. House of Representatives seats in 2020, and President Joe Biden carried the state over former President Donald Trump last year by more than 15 percentage points.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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