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Biden speaks to Murphy, McAuliffe following gubernatorial elections

President Biden delivers remarks at NJ Transit Meadowlands Maintenance Complex in Newark, N.J. on Monday, October 25, 2021.
UPI Photo

President Biden on Wednesday phoned Phil Murphy, Eric Adams and Shontel Brown to congratulate all three Democrats on their victories in Tuesday’s off-year elections, a White House official said Thursday. 

Murphy won a surprisingly tight race to keep his position as governor of New Jersey. Adams was elected mayor of New York and Brown was elected to represent Ohio’s 11th congressional district, a seat vacated by Marcia Fudge, who is now Biden’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

“He congratulated them on their victories this week and committed to continue working closely to build back better, grow jobs and the economy and expand opportunities for working families across the country,” the official said. “They additionally spoke of the continued need to defeat COVID-19 and get Americans vaccinated.”

Biden on Wednesday also spoke with former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Virginia who lost to Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin in a competitive race on Tuesday. Biden and Vice President Harris were among a group of prominent Democrats who campaigned for McAuliffe. 

Biden “and thanked him for a hard fought campaign, as well as his many years of service to both the Democratic Party and the United States of America,” the White House official said. 

White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters later Thursday that Biden had not spoken to Youngkin but that he congratulates him on his victory. 

The calls came after a bruising night for the Democratic Party in the off-year elections. The wins for Murphy, Adams and Brown were among the few bright spots for Democrats on Tuesday night. Murphy’s race was much closer than expected, prompting worries and then a sense of relief among Democrats when he was declared the winner on Wednesday afternoon.

Biden commented briefly on the results in Virginia following a speech on coronavirus vaccines on Wednesday, saying he planned to push hard for Democrats in Congress to approve his domestic agenda. 

“People are upset and uncertain about a lot of things — from COVID, to school, to jobs, to a whole range of things, and the cost of a gallon of gasoline,” Biden said. “If I’m able to … sign into law my Build Back Better initiative, I’m in a position where you’re going to see a lot of those things ameliorated quickly and swiftly.  And so that has to be done.”

Updated at 4:15 p.m. 

Tags 2021 2021 elections election 2021 Eric Adams Glenn Youngkin Joe Biden Karine Jean-Pierre Marcia Fudge New Jersey New York Phil Murphy Terry McAuliffe Virginia

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