By CBS3 Staff

*EDITOR’S NOTE: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has defeated Republican Jack Ciattarelli and won a historic second term, AP declares.*

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — The race for New Jersey governor is still neck-and-neck. It’s a fractional percentage separating Democrat incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican challenger Jack Ciatarelli as of Wednesday afternoon.

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But as vote counting continues, voters from both sides can agree they are anxious for a final result.

As voters in Camden County still wait to learn the results of the razor-thin New Jersey governor’s race, some Democrats are especially surprised.

“I thought it was going to be a landslide,” Sicklerville resident Daniel Rucker said.

That’s because New Jersey has 2.5 million registered Democrats — a million more than registered Republicans.

“If you’re a Democrat in the state of New Jersey running statewide, it shouldn’t be that small of a margin if you effectively mobilized the voters that have registered,” Rutgers University-Camden Associate Political Science Professor Kelly Dittmar said.

But many South Jersey voters say it was Ciattarelli’s campaign that resonated with them.

“Taxes I guess were the number one reason,” Ventnor resident Colt Blitz said.

“We need change,” Sewell resident Dena Girimonte said. “I don’t want no mandates coming. I don’t want my kids having mandates.”

Republican Jack Ciattarelli released a statement Wednesday that reads in part: “Right now, our team is focused on making sure all the legal votes are counted and our citizens can have confidence in the system.”

We haven’t heard from Gov. Murphy other than a speech from very early in the morning.

“We’re gonna have to wait a little while longer than we had hoped,” he said.

But Eyewitness News did speak to Rich Ambrosino with the Camden County Board of Elections, which oversees vote counting.

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“I left about 2 a.m. and we were back early this morning,” he said.

When will we know the next governor of New Jersey?

“It could be a week, could be two. It could be longer if there’s a recount,” Ambrosino said.

The last time New Jersey saw a recount in the governor’s race was 40 years ago. It took almost a month before those results were finalized.

Both candidates spoke to their supporters early Wednesday morning at their election night headquarters.

Murphy appeared on stage at Asbury Park’s convention hall, enthusiastic and hopeful for a win.

Ciattarelli’s camp in Bridgewater was a bit more lively Tuesday night though, at times breaking out into cheers.

Ciattarrelli’s campaign cast Gov. Murphy as out of touch with taxpayer concerns. He sought support from those who disagree with Murphy’s handling of the pandemic.

“We’re going to lower property taxes, make it a better place to do business,” he said early Wednesday morning. “We’re gonna downsize state government. We’re gonna support our state and local police, and we’re going to get back to basics teaching critical life skills in our schools.”

Murphy, on the other hand, focused on what he says he’s built during his tenure as governor.

“Our mission has been simple, to build a state where every child regardless of race or gender, creed or zip code has the opportunity to live out their hopes and achieve their American dream,” he said. “These are the values we have put to work. We are leading with compassion and empathy and not anger and despair.”

CBS3’s Jan Carabeo and Matt Petrillo contributed to this report.

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