Longtime NJ Senate president concedes to GOP truck driver Ed Durr

New Jersey candidate says voters gave ‘clear referendum’ on left’s policies

Republican John Isemann, running for Congress in New Jersey’s 7th congressional district, explains why he believes his competitive district will turn red in midterms.

New Jersey state Senate President Steve Sweeney conceded Wednesday to Republican candidate and commercial truck driver Edward Durr, who spent only $153 on his primary campaign.

“The results of Tuesday’s election are in, all votes have been fairly counted, and I, of course, accept the results,” Sweeney said during a press conference at the statehouse.

“I want to congratulate Mr. Durr and wish him the best of luck,” added Sweeney, who has served as New Jersey state Senate president since 2010.

When asked “what happened” to upend the race in the state’s 3rd Legislative District, Sweeney replied, “It was a red wave.”

Sweeney’s concession comes six days after The Associated Press called the race for Durr.

TRENTON, NJ – JANUARY 21:  New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney greets New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie prior to being sworn in for his second term on January 21, 2014 at the War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Durr, who drives a truck for a furniture company, attacked Sweeney during the campaign for not investigating nursing home deaths at the height of the pandemic.

Gov. Phil Murphy, D-N.J., who faced a close race himself last week and whose Republican opponent Jack Ciattarelli has yet to concede, praised Sweeney in a statement.

“Senate President Steve Sweeney has had an incredible career, one that is incomparable in state history,” Murphy said. “He has been a partner in the vast majority of the progress we’ve made in the last four years, and without him, New Jersey would undoubtedly be a worse place for working families.

“He will remain a friend to me and Tammy, and I wish him nothing but the best as he pivots to the next phase of his career,” Murphy added.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy pauses during his COVID-19 update at the War Memorial in Trenton Friday, February 5, 2021.Murphy Covid Update
( USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect)

During an interview with  “Fox News Primetime” last week, Durr attributed his win to the people of New Jersey.

“I didn’t beat him. We beat him,” Durr said. “The state of New Jersey, the people of New Jersey beat him. They listened to what I had to say and I listened to what they had to say, and it’s a repudiation of Governor Murphy [who] went and locked us down and ignored the people’s voice, and Senator Sweeney chose to do nothing for those 18 months,” he said. 

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