By CBS3 Staff

SOMERSET COUNTY, N.J. (CBS) — Republican Jack Ciattarelli conceded the governor’s race in New Jersey to incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday and revealed his future plans. Ciattarelli, a former state Assembly member, confirmed that he will run again for New Jersey governor in 2025.

As for the current race, it was much closer than many expected.

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The Republican defended the delay in conceding, saying Friday that he decided to call it quits only after it became clear there was no path to victory.

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Ciattarelli conceded in his hometown of Raritan Borough in Somerset County. At his side were his wife Melinda and his running mate, former New Jersey state Senator and Philadelphia television news anchor, Diane Allen.

“I called Gov. Murphy earlier today and congratulated him on his reelection and wished him well in serving the people of New Jersey,” Ciattarelli said. “I do not see the result of this election as a failure. On the contrary, I am proud of what our campaign accomplished, proud of how we helped reinvigorate the Republican Party and mobilize new people who’ve never been involved before. … That’s exactly my plan, I’ll be running for governor.”

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Ciattarelli campaigned on lowering property taxes and relaxing COVID-19 mandates.