Longtime NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney concedes to newcomer, cites ‘red wave’

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, one of the most powerful elected officials in the state, conceded that he lost reelection to the state Senate.
Sweeney, a Democrat, lost to Republican political newcomer and commercial truck driver Edward Durr in southern New Jersey’s 3rd District. Sweeney said his loss by about 2,000 votes was the result of overwhelming GOP turnout in his district, a politically split Philadelphia suburb, calling it a red wave.
"I have never seen government do everything right, but I believe it has to do the most important things right. What voters said in this election is that New Jersey is a state filled with hardworking people who want to be able to provide for their families. As leaders, we need to speak directly to the concerns of all voters,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney served 20 years in the state Senate, including 12 years as the Senate president. He says that his time in public office is far from over.
“I plan to remain fully involved in public affairs in New Jersey. I will keep speaking out for fiscal responsibility and reform. I will be a strong voice for unity, for economic opportunity, and for competitiveness and growth."
He stopped short of saying whether he would seek election to the Senate again or run for governor in 2025.
Durr gave a victory speech following Sweeney's announcement. He expressed his gratitude in his address.
"My differences with Senate President Sweeney are political, not versatile. I have said we should wait for every legal vote to be counted before the concession is offered, or victory is declared. All legal votes have been counted in this district. It's over. I sincerely thank all who helped me, and the voters for placing their trust in me and our team."
Durr will not replace Sweeney as the Senate president. He assumes his position in January.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.