The Countdown: Ciattarelli not conceding yet, Adams leans into Bitcoin

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Today's political headlines:



Phil Murphy declares victory in governor's race over Jack Ciattarelli
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey narrowly won reelection in his reliably blue state while a Republican political newcomer delivered a stunning upset in the Virginia governor's race.

That's sending a warning to Democrats that their grip on power in Washington may be in peril. In Virginia, Glenn Youngkin became the first Republican to win statewide office in a dozen years, uniting former President Donald Trump's most fervent supporters with enough suburban voters to notch a victory.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Murphy won after Jack Ciattarelli mounted a surprisingly strong campaign on issues including taxes and opposition to pandemic mask and vaccination mandates.

New Jersey's Republican candidate for Governor, Jack Ciattarelli, issued a video statement today saying that he is not conceding yet, and plans to possibly challenge election results once all votes have been counted.

Longtime NJ Senate President Sweeney loses to truck driver Ed Durr
New Jersey's longtime state Senate president, Democrat Steve Sweeney lost reelection, falling to a Republican newcomer who spent little money and underscoring Democratic woes in the Biden era.

Edward Durr, a furniture company truck driver and first-time officeholder, defeated Sweeney in New Jersey's 3rd Legislative District, according to results tallied Thursday.

Eric Adams' first paychecks will be paid in Bitcoin
NYC Mayor-elect Eric Adams says he wants to be paid in Bitcoin and his first three paychecks will be in the digital currency.

The announcement comes as Adams ramps up calls to make cryptocurrency more prevalent in NYC. During his campaign, he promised a "city cyber wallet" and a "citycoin."

He says cryptocurrency could help lower-income and working-class New Yorkers get more out of their government.

Biden's agenda
Democrats in the House appear on the verge of securing President Joe Biden's now-$1.85 trillion-and-growing domestic policy package.

House votes on Biden's big bill would be a dramatic political accomplishment - if they can push it to passage and send it to the Senate. By nightfall Thursday, hopes for votes were uncertain, as happened before.

Some are blaming the Capitol Hill dysfunction for the Democrats' dismal election showing this week. Biden's package is called the "Build Back Better Act," after his campaign promise to expand health care and child care and provide the nation's most sizable investment yet in tackling climate change. But lawmakers are still fighting over work permits for immigrants and federal deductions for state and local taxes.

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