CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey voters are headed to the polls Tuesday to elect their next governor, and there’s a lot of excitement in the air. The incumbent, Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy, kicked off his Election Day tour of the Garden State in Cherry Hill.
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Murphy greeted a crowd of supporters Tuesday morning outside the Camden County Democratic Committee headquarters. Murphy is seeking a second term and says his policies — like the millionaire’s tax passed last year — have helped the working and middle class.READ MORE: Phanatic's Hot Dog Launcher, Enormous Bryce Harper Banner Among Items Up For Grabs In Phillies Phantastic Auction
“He supports unions, he supports my family so I support him,” a Murphy supporter from Mt. Laurel said.
— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) November 2, 2021
Murphy faces former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, who is considered a moderate Republican. He stopped by Randazzo Bakery in his hometown of Raritan, North Jersey on Tuesday. He’s previously attacked Murphy over both property taxes and his coronavirus restrictions, but Tuesday, both candidates are urging voters to turn out and say they’re feeling good about the election.
“To see this crowd as fired up as they are, it’s a great way to start the day. I take nothing for granted, but this gives me a kick in my step for sure,” Murphy said.
“We did plan our work and we did work our plan,” Ciattarelli said. “I think we’re right where we need to be, I really do. I feel that this is a dead heat just as it always has been over the past 40 years.”
Ciattarelli’s supporters say Trenton needs a fresh face in office.
“We need a change, yes,” Raffeline Diciurcio said.READ MORE: Tambayan Connecting With Customers At Reading Terminal Market Through Authentic Filipino Cuisine
“You got to give him a chance,” Louis Diciurcio said.
“I feel this is a dead heat like it’s always been over the last 40 years,” Ciattarelli said.
If Murphy wins, he’d be the first incumbent Democrat governor to be re-elected in New Jersey in more than 40 years, since 1977.
“I promise you if we have success today, I will not let you down,” Murphy said.
Poll workers at Kingsway Church say voter turnout has been good so far.
Both candidates need voters to show up. One poll from Rutgers-Eagleton released on Monday shows Murphy leads his Republican challenger by eight percentage points.
This is also the first year of early in-person voting in New Jersey.MORE NEWS: Free Toll Friday Returns For 1 Hour At Atlantic City Expressway's Egg Harbor Toll Plaza Friday
State officials say more than 207,000 voters cast ballots during a nine-day window before this election day.