Jack Ciattarelli will admit defeat in his bid to unseat Phil Murphy as governor.

For the last 9 days, teams of Ciattarelli campaign lawyers have been overseeing the counting of mail-in and provisional ballots. The hope was that enough additional votes for Ciattarelli would emerge to cut Murphy's lead from 3% to around 1%. There was a belief that a 1% margin would be enough to justify calling for a recall.

That didn't happen.

The Ciattarelli campaign put out a press release last night saying the candidate would hold a news conference this afternoon in Ciattarelli's hometown of Raritan Borough.

It is there he is expected to officially concede his defeat.

On election night and into Wednesday morning it appeared that Ciattarelli was on the verge of a huge upset, but as mail-in ballots and early voting tallies were added, Murphy pulled ahead. Final tallies should have Murphy's margin of victory near 3%, still much closer than many pre-election polls suggested it would be.

Over the next few days, Murphy's lead continued to build. That has led to some Ciattarelli supporters to claim democrats were "stealing the election."

Ciattarelli has repeatedly said his campaign and a team of lawyers from the Republican Governor's Association have found "zero evidence" of voter fraud.

A person connected to the Ciattarelli campaign confirmed the candidate will concede this afternoon, and will stress that the election was conducted fairly, all votes were counted and there was no fraud.

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