A New Jersey Republican truck driver just likely unseated the state’s incumbent Democratic Senate president in one of the most unlikely – and hilarious – upsets of the 2021 Election.
Edward Durr, a lifelong New Jersey resident, is likely to beat out long-time state Senator Steve Sweeney, who’s been in office since 2004 and has been the state Senate president since 2010, by about 2,000 votes with 99 percent of precincts accounted for – and after having only spent $153 on his campaign.
Campaign finance records show that Durr spent about half the money to buy paper fliers and business cards as his campaign’s marketing strategy. The other half? It went to buying Dunkin’ Donuts for his team.
When asked how he thought he'd pull off the moonshot campaign against such an entrenched incumbent, Durr pointed to the stats.
“Well, I’m a numbers guy, and I’ve looked at the numbers over the years,” Durr said in an interview back in August. “We have a district that is 150,00 voters. Senator Sweeney has never broken 32,000 votes.”
“And so I felt if he can’t even get half the district, that means there’s numbers out there to be taken, and you just have to get people to come out and vote. I believe if they come out and vote, we could win,” he said.
That simple strategy, the promise of smaller government, and $153 just upended the career of the state’s most powerful Democrat.
Conversely, according to votesmart.org, Sweeney raised more than $2.3 million for his reelection campaign, including $750,000 raised at just one event over the summer.