(Big League Politics) – The President of the New Jersey Senate, Democrat Steve Sweeney, appears likely to lose to a bootstrap Republican candidate who spent just over $153 on his campaign. As of Wednesday afternoon, Edward Durr leads Steve Sweeney by 32,134 votes to 30,125, with 98% of the vote total in legislative district 3 counted.
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
Local political observers believe it’s likely Durr will hang onto his thin lead, defeating a titan of New Jersey politics.
Durr is a truck driver and a lifelong resident of southern New Jersey. Mr. Durr has explained he decided to run for the state legislature after being unjustly denied a concealed carry permit by his local government. New Jersey has some of the most draconian gun laws in the country, routinely reserving gun rights for Democrat elected officials and their personal entourage.
Mr. Durr assailed Sweeney as a career politician in his bare-budget campaign ads.
“The Senate President has spent 20 years in Trenton,” Durr said in a campaign video. “Higher taxes, increasing debt and the rising cost of living. We deserve better. New Jersey, it’s time for a change.”
Mr. Durr spent just over $153 on his campaign, between food for volunteers and campaign flyers. In contrast, Sweeney raised $750k in one night from establishment donors in return for favors in the state legislature.
Durr recounted being surprised at his strong support in the district on election night, with his friends, family and supporters gradually realizing the father of 3 stood a strong chance of outright defeating the establishment New Jersey political insider.
“He did not fight for the people, and that had to end,” Durr said. “I’m a person who believes in the right to the people. I’m a firm constitutionalist believer and I believe in people’s rights. When I saw how people were being mistreated or ignored, that angered me to say: ‘I’m going to make my voice heard.’”
In another political shocker, Republican candidate Jack Ciattarelli is locked in a close battle with Democrat Governor Phil Murphy, with 86% of the vote in and Murphy leading by just over 12,000 votes.