A Truck Driver With a Few Thousand Bucks and an iPhone Just Toppled New Jersey’s Most Powerful Lawmaker

Edward Durr (a New Jersey truck driver aged 58) just won one of America’s biggest political upsets.

A bare-bones campaign costing less than $6,000, according to earlier reports. Durr had previously claimed spending only $153 for the race. Durr however denied this claim. later clarified that was not a full accounting), Durr ousted New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney (D–West Deptford) in Tuesday’s election. The Associated Press called the race for Sweeney after previously calling it and then retracing the call. called the race for DurrThis Thursday morning. With 99 percent reporting, he has an advantage of more than 2,000 votes.

Sweeney was running for a seventh term as president of the Senate. He is well-known in New Jersey politics as one of the most influential men in the state. The longest serving state senator in history, he’s been the president of the State Senate since 2010. According to, he was widely expected to run in the 2025 governor’s race. However, this year’s election “was never more than an afterthought.” After all, Sweeney had survived one of the most expensive legislative races in American history in 2017—when teachers unions had bucked their usual political alignment to spend heavily in support of Sweeney’s Republican challenger.

Sweeney, however, was not able to match Durr who is a political rookie and drives a truck that delivers furniture shops in a local area.

I don’t really know if my fearlessness is real. It’s hard to believe that anyone would ever take on someone who has this kind of power or clout. spoke to Durr. Durr stated that “but his power, and his clout didn’t scare me.”

If this isn’t the most American of political statements, then I don’t know how to describe it.

Durr homemade campaign adsHe was seen descending from his trucking vehicle, riding a motorcycle and promising support for tax cuts. It is possible that his online advertisements had even less production value. He got more votes than Sweeney, who was dressed in a polished and elegant manner.

It is dangerous to draw broad conclusions about the state legislative races. These are, by nature, local affairs in an age where political narratives are often nationalized. Durr’s triumph could indicate that the residents of New Jersey, which is characterized by a strong blue state, are sick and tired of Democratic leadership in Washington D.C. & Trenton. Most likely it’s part a growing backlash against COVID-19 lockdowns and other harmful policies created during the pandemic. Durr emphasized that Sweeney didn’t do enough to fight Gov. Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 strategies. (Murphy was a Democrat and narrowly won reelection in a close race.

You have the unemployment debacle. Masking the children in school. Senator Sweeney tries to take people’s lives away [sic]Durr stated that medical freedom rights are protected. Politico. He said that he considers himself a Constitutional Conservative and that politics was what drew him to it after navigating New Jersey’s gun laws to obtain a concealed carry permit.

One conclusion that you can draw from Durr’s amazing upset is this: it wasn’t all about money. Durr’s victory is another reminder that for all the pearl clutching about money in politics, contemporary American campaigns are less determined by big piles of cash—to pay for massive ad blitzes, expensive consultants, and the like—than ever. The internet and social media have made it easier for old-school retail politics, such as Durr’s to develop new methods. An iPhone-filmed campaign ad can be used to take down powerful politicians.

Durr was the one to do it.