The New Jersey state Senate president was ousted by his Republican challenger, a political novice truck driver who spent less than $200 on his campaign — dealing another blow to Democrats who ignored voters, pushed progressive agendas and then underestimated surging GOP candidates.
Following the trend in Virginia, where Terry McAuliffe lost to Glenn Youngkin — and his own Garden State, where Gov. Phil Murphy barely eked out a win — state Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, was defeated by Edward Durr, a trucker for furniture company Raymour & Flanagan, who spent just $153 to knock off Sweeney.
The Democrat has held the post since 2010. The race was called in Durr’s favor Thursday.
Sweeney was responsible for shepherding Murphy’s progressive agenda through the Legislature, including a phased-in $15-an-hour minimum wage, paid sick leave and recreational marijuana legalization.
In an interview Wednesday night on Fox News, Durr, who looked then to have taken the race, said Sweeney was ousted because voters in the Garden State rejected Murphy’s agenda.
“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.”
With Post wires