A self-funded, conservative truck driver with no prior political experience is poised to defeat incumbent Democratic New Jersey state Senate President Stephen Sweeney following a national backlash against Democrats during Tuesday’s off-year elections.
Sweeney, who represents Gloucester, is described by NJ.com as “the second-most-powerful elected state official” after Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. He is also the longest-serving state Senate president in Garden State history.
Following an evening of victories from Virginia to Texas for underdog Republicans, it appears Republican Edward Durr will defeat Sweeney.
As of Wednesday morning, Durr led the political veteran by roughly 2,000 votes in a race that had yet to be officially called.
Without a big budget, flashy graphics or any kind of an apparatus around him, Durr ran the race with a simple message: He wanted to lower taxes.
“Hello NJ, I am Edward Durr, the Republican senate candidate for legislative district 3. I’m a father of 3 & grandfather of 6. Life long resident of NJ. Not seeking power or fame, only give the people better representation. Lower taxes! Transparency!” Durr tweeted in July.
Hello NJ, I am Edward Durr, the Republican senate candidate for legislative district 3. I’m a father of 3 & grandfather of 6. Life long resident of NJ. Not seeking power or fame, only give the people better representation. Lower taxes! Transparency! @nj1015 @1210WPHT @GlouCoGOP pic.twitter.com/YiOCzFjtSw
— Edward Durr (@edwarddurr1) July 23, 2021
The trucker said that he went to obtain a gun permit and was told not to bother by his local sheriff.
“That kinda angered me … I’m a truck driver, and I’ve been to, I would say almost every military base running up and down the east coast,” he explained. “I’ve been to the Pentagon. I’ve been to [the] CIA. I’ve never been arrested. And I couldn’t get a concealed carry?”
He said he thought he could win simply by looking at the numbers in the New Jersey district.
“I’m a numbers guy, and I’ve looked at the numbers over the years. We have a district that is 150,000 voters. Sen. Sweeney has never broken 32,000 votes,” he said. “If he can’t even get half the district, that means there’s numbers out there to be taken, and we just have to motivate and get the people to come out and vote.”
He was also open with regard to his opposition to Murphy:
— Edward Durr (@edwarddurr1) October 14, 2021
As of Wednesday morning, Durr leads Sweeney 51.61 to 48.39 after securing 32,134 votes to the Democrat’s 30,125 votes with 99.37 percent of the vote in, according to live results from NJ.com.
In his campaign video, he kept things simple:
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) November 3, 2021
The New Jersey Globe reported that the expected victory over Sweeney cost Durr only $153.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.