How a little-known New Jersey truck driver defeated a top state Senate power broker on less than $10,000

Written by on November 4, 2021

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, one in every of New Jersey’s strongest Democrats, has lost his re-election bid to a little-known trucker, in line with a name of the race Thursday by the Related Press.

However the obvious winner, Edward Durr, declined to declare victory Thursday.

Sweeney, a union president who’s held the third District seat since 2002, couldn’t be reached for fast remark.

Extra outcomes:Election results updates: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy wins tight race; Biden says ‘people are upset and uncertain’

Sweeney’s obvious defeat has precipitated turmoil in Trenton, the place Senate Democrats have postponed a management caucus initially scheduled for Thursday.

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, was defeated on Nov. 2, 2021, by Ed Durr, a furniture company deliveryman.

“Because of the closeness of a number of State Senate elections, the Management Caucus scheduled for tomorrow might be delayed,” Sweeney mentioned in a press release that introduced the delay on Wednesday. “The caucus might be rescheduled as soon as the results of each Senate election is set.”

The Senate bid was the third marketing campaign for Durr, a furnishings firm deliveryman who misplaced races for a Logan council seat final 12 months and for a third District Meeting seat in 2019.

The Related Press didn’t name different third District races, however Sweeney’s working mates – Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Adam Taliaferro – additionally appeared in jeopardy.

“Mathematically, it is over,” Steve Kush, a strategist for Gloucester County’s Republican group, mentioned Wednesday morning as outcomes confirmed GOP candidates within the lead.

These outcomes had Sweeney trailing Durr by about 2,000 votes.

Durr on Thursday pushed again on an oft-repeated storyline that his marketing campaign spent lower than $200 to unseat the senate president. Durr says he spent someplace between $5,000 and $10,000 within the marketing campaign.

“It’s a narrative I maintain making an attempt to squash. I simply don’t perceive, as a result of that was previous to the first,” the senator-elect mentioned.

An Oct. 26 submitting with the state’s Election Regulation Enforcement Fee reveals a $153 expense for the third District Republicans’ joint marketing campaign, masking the price of meals for ballot employees and marketing campaign literature.

However a marketing campaign submitting on Wednesday confirmed extra outlays of about $2,160 from Durr’s account for marketing campaign literature, indicators and different bills.

In distinction, an Oct. four submitting by Sweeney for Senate confirmed spending of $490,576,46, together with $400,000 to a joint marketing campaign for the third District Democrats.

Different spending included greater than $7,000 for political conferences at eating places and greater than $50,000 directed to different Democratic campaigns. 

That left Sweeney’s marketing campaign with a stability of just about $800,000 – a quantity boosted by greater than $116,000 in contributions acquired later that month.

Sweeney and Durr ran neck and neck in parts of the district in Gloucester and Cumberland counties. Voters in Salem County appeared to push Durr into the lead.

Tuesday’s election outcomes additionally confirmed GOP candidates apparently beating two different long-time Democratic officers in Gloucester County  — Fee Director Robert Damminger and Sheriff Carmel Morina.

Jim Walsh covers public security, financial growth and different beats for the Courier-Publish, Burlington County Occasions and The Each day Journal.

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