New Jersey Democrat Senate President Defeated by Truck Driver Who Spent $153 on Campaign
By Matt Palumbo
The working class scored a major political win earlier today – literally.
Edward Durr just defeated New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney, the state’s most powerful legislator who is associated with Jersey’s Democrat machine. Sweeney was the longest serving legislative leader in NJ history. In June Sweeney had even reportedly discussed a potential run for Governor in 2025.
And he’ll have plenty of time to prepare for that now. As the AP reported:
New Jersey’s longtime state Senate president has lost reelection, falling to a Republican newcomer who spent less than $200 on the race, and leaving his party reeling.
Edward Durr, a furniture company truck driver and political newcomer, has defeated Sweeney in New Jersey’s 3rd Legislative District, according to results tallied Thursday.
Sweeney’s defeat was unexpected and threw his party’s legislative leadership contest into limbo on Wednesday, when he postponed a meeting set for Thursday. Sweeney had been expected to return as Senate president, but who’ll take over and what margin Democrats will have in the state Legislature is unclear.
Sweeney has served as Senate president since 2010 and was responsible for shepherding Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s progressive agenda through the Legislature, including a phased-in $15 an hour minimum wage, paid sick leave and recreational marijuana legalization.
Durr had a lead of over 2,000 votes over Sweeney on Wednesday evening with nearly all votes counted, but the race wasn’t yet officially called until today.
Durr said that gun rights motivated him to run more than anything else, as New Jersey’s gun laws are among the most restrictive in the nation. “I guess what motivated me more than anything was I went for my concealed carry,” Durr said. “And I was told flat-out by the local sheriff, ‘don’t even bother.’ And that kind of angered me…I’ve never been arrested and I couldn’t get a concealed carry?”
Durr only spent $153 on his campaign, of which $66.64 went to Dunkin Donuts. The Sweeney campaign raised over $2.7 million in the 2021 election cycle.
If this is happening in a blue state with roughly one million more registered Democrats than Republicans, and one that voted for Biden by a 16-point margin in 2020, things are not looking great for Democrats heading into the midterms.