Speed Reads

'stunning and shocking'

New Jersey Senate president loses to GOP truck driver in shock upset

New Jersey's state Senate president just lost re-election in a shock upset to a Republican challenger who spent less than $200 on his campaign. 

Edward Durr, a Raymour & Flanigan truck driver, defeated New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) in the state's 3rd Legislative District, The Associated Press projected Thursday. It was a stunning defeat for Sweeney, who has served as New Jersey Senate president for more than a decade. Durr, the AP reports, spent just $153.31 on his campaign — and the Washington Free Beacon writes "nearly half" of this "went to Dunkin' Donuts." He has no experience holding elected office. 

Sweeney's defeat, which after as New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) narrowly won re-election in a surprisingly tight raise, was "emblematic of the predicament facing Democrats in suburban and exurban communities," The New York Times wrote, noting Sweeney's district has "reliably elected a Democrat since its creation in 1973." 

New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D) told The Associated Press Sweeney's loss was "stunning and shocking and I cannot figure it out." When his win appeared likely, Durr himself semeed surprised, too.

"I joked with people and I said, 'I'm going to shock the world, I'm going to beat this man,'" Durr told NJ.com. "I was saying it, but really kind of joking. Because what chance did a person like me really stand against this man? He's literally the second-most powerful person in the state of New Jersey."