On Wednesday, the Senate President in New Jersey state, Steve Sweeney, conceded his defeat to GOP challenger, Edward Durr. Durr is a political newcomer, as well as a truck driver.
Sweeney’s concession arrives more than a week after the November 2 election. Sweeney had delayed his concession in spite of all media outlets projecting his loss, and he did not concede until all the mail-in ballots were counted on Monday.
Sweeney remarked that all of the votes had “been fairly counted,” and that he “of course, [accepts] the results.”
Sweeney also offered his congratulations to Durr, “[wishing] him the best of luck.”
“It has been an honor and privilege to represent them in the state Senate,” Sweeney continued, adding that it was also an honor “to serve as the president of the state Senate.”
Durr spent only $6,000 on his campaign, and he ultimately defeated Sweeney by more than 2,200 votes, per election data acquired by WPVI. Sweeney had served District 3 since 2002, and he has also served as the state Senate president since 2010.
After the election results, Durr apologized for past social media commentary, some of which has generated significant controversy due to perceived Islamophobia. Durr noted that many remarks arose “in the heat of the moment.”
Throughout his concession, Sweeney highlighted several of his achievements, including different green initiative measures and other policies that provided benefits to the disabled community.
In addition, Sweeney also added that his defeat was partially the result of a “red wave” that appeared across other states, notably Virginia.
On his part, Durr noted that his primary differences with Sweeney were not personal, but political. Durr also noted that “the hard work begins [now].”
“[Voters] don’t want Governor Murphy’s vision of making New Jersey the California of the east coast,” Durr asserted, adding that he “will fight the tyranny that is Phil Murphy,” starting from his first day in office.
Durr also acknowledged that the red wave that took hold across other states certainly buoyed his own personal victory in New Jersey.
Overall, the races in New Jersey were much closer than many analysts’ expectations.
Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in New Jersey by almost 16 points in the 2020 presidential elections, yet incumbent Governor Phil Murphy is currently projected to beat GOP candidate Jake Ciattarelli by only 3 points.
Ciattarelli has yet to concede, given that the final tally has not yet been certified.
In addition, Democrats across New Jersey voted on a new Senate president on Friday. It is expected for Nicholas Scutari to take over leadership once Sweeney leaves office on January 11.