Edwin Durr, a Republican presidential candidate for the New Jersey Senate, is creeping ahead of incumbent Stephen Sweeney (D) as of Wednesday morning, according to NJ.com.
In 2017, Sweeney managed to win reelection against a powerful Republican challenger, Fran Grenier; Together, the two parties spent more than $ 24 million on the race. The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission reported that the election may have been “the most expensive legislative race in American history.”
Durr, by contrast, claims that he has spent only $ 153.00 on his campaign, NJ.com reported.
Durr’s campaign focused on “limiting government, lowering taxes and fixing the state’s highways,” according to NJ.com. However, his platform did not receive much attention this election season.
Its website initially generated many error codes, NJ.com reported, and those outside of South Jersey had largely not heard of it prior to Tuesday.
Durr previously ran and lost a race for state assembly in 2019. Not once did he hold an elected office, according to NJ.com. He has lived in New Jersey his entire life and has worked as a trucker for the past 25 years.
NJ.com reported that Durr had likened his campaign challenge to Sweeney’s to repairing his rusty, old, beaten-up 1964 Mustang that sits in front of his own backyard. “What is required now is that someone show him a little affection,” Durr said.
Durr built his campaign popularly, going door-to-door in his district and appearing to local voters, NJ.com reported. Sweeney, by contrast, has long been a fixture in Trenton.
Durr posted a tweet showing himself campaigning with his followers in New Jersey.
@ nj1015 @ 1210WPHT @BillSpadea MattRooneyNJ @GlouCoGOP We work hard today in the National Park. Commissioner Candidate Nick Desilvio and NP Council Candidate Marguerite Silineo. A special thanks to volunteer Jennifer Kuni Fox. # VoteEd21 #VoteRed #VoteJack pic.twitter.com/GQEQ0P28nB
– Edward Durr (@ edwarddurr1) October 3, 2021
“I joked with people and said, ‘I’m going to shock the world, I’m going to beat this man,'” Durr said while speaking to NJ.com on Wednesday. “I was saying it, but it was actually a joke. Because what chance did a person like me really have to stand up to this man? He is literally the second most powerful person in the state of New Jersey. “
NJ.com noted that a Sweeney defeat, beyond changing the leadership of the state senate, would also signal a major shift in the relationship between the New Jersey legislature and the governor’s office.
“I don’t know if I’m really brave or stupid. Because who in their right mind would stand up to a person with that kind of power and influence? “Durr told NJ.com,” But his power, his influence, didn’t scare me. “
Durr described himself on NJ.com as a simple man who rides a Harley, walks his dogs, loves the Philadelphia Eagles, and wants ordinary people to return to state politics.
The narrow margin between Durr and Sweeney comes as the governor’s race for Governor Phil Murphy (D) and Jack Ciatterelli (R) also progresses to a near stalemate. As of Wednesday afternoon, the race was too close to call with about 90 percent of the vote.
On Tuesday night, Ciatterelli had a slight advantage over Murphy, but as of Wednesday afternoon, the tables had turned slightly and Murphy had a slight advantage in the vote.