Phil Murphy and Jack Ciattarelli locked in tight race for New Jersey governorship
FILE PHOTO: Phil Murphy speaks during the First Stand Rally in Newark, N.J., U.S. January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo
The race for governor is too close to call.

Gov. Phil Murphy and former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli were locked in a tight race Thursday night, and it's unclear whether late-reported votes in Democratic counties like Passaic, Somerset, and Mercer will be enough to hand the incumbent a win.

Murphy led his challenger by less than a point with roughly 75% of Election Day vote totals reported.

Ciattarelli took an early but narrow lead after accruing a nearly 74,000-vote lead in Ocean County, the state's staunchest Republican stronghold.

Mail-in ballots tallies in numerous counties were not reported Tuesday night.

The Republican's lead cast a pall on the governor's election party in Asbury Park, where attendees began to filter out as the Republican edged ahead. Murphy addressed the crowd at about 12:30 a.m.

“We're all sorry tonight did not get to be the celebration we all wanted it to be but … when every vote is counted, we hope to have a celebration," Murphy said. “We're going to wait for every vote to be counted and that's how democracy works."

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