Fireworks, honking, cheering: NJ reacts to historic Biden/Harris win
People in New Jersey, Philadelphia and across the nation took to the streets on Saturday to celebrate former Vice President Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump, a win that also makes U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris the first woman and person of color to be elected vice president.
The race had been a nail-biter since election night with Trump first leading by razor-thin margins only to be overtaken by Biden in key swing states. In the end, it was Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes, which news organizations such as The Associated Press called for Biden on Saturday morning, that put him over the top. Trump's campaign, however, refused to concede and promised to challenge the results in court.
New Jersey, a reliably Democratic state since the late 1980s, was never really in play as a potential win for Trump, making the state's 14 electoral votes certain for Biden.
With provisional ballots and last-minute mail-in ballots trickling in, Biden led Trump in New Jersey with 58% to 40%. Provisional ballots will not be counted until Tuesday.
Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, congratulated the president-elect, saying he was confident a Biden administration would, among other things, overturn a Trump tax law that penalized New Jersey residents who pay more than $10,000 in state and local taxes.
"This week the United States elected a President who will lead with moral courage, personal conviction, and facts. It is no exaggeration to say that changing the way our country approaches this ongoing pandemic will save lives," Murphy said. "More than anything, I look forward to honor and honesty being restored to the Presidency. May we never turn back."
Murphy, citing the pandemic, implemented an executive order that made the election mostly mail-in for the first time. Murphy credited automatic mail-in voting with a turnout that is likely to exceed 4 million voters.
"None of this would be possible were it not for the thousands upon thousands of New Jerseyans who stood up and fought for our values over the past four years, many of whom engaged in politics for the first time in their lives," Murphy added. "Together, we've stemmed the tide of destructive policies and actions that came at us from Washington. I hope to see all of you stay in the fight, and continue the inspiring activism and community organizing these past four years have inspired.”
Not everyone was welcoming the news. The state Republican Party's Twitter account shared RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel's statement promising legal challenges.
Other state figures weighed in on Saturday.