Born on June 11, 1959, Stephen Sweeney is a labour leader and a politician based in America. He is currently serving as the 114th President of the New Jersey Senate. Since 2002, He is serving as the president of the New Jersey senate representing the 3rd legislative state. This moderate and fiscal conservative is originally a Union Ironworker.
During 2008-2010, Sweeney has also served as the Majority Leader of the New Jersey Senate. At the same time, he was the Majority Conference Leader of New Jersey. Sweeney lost to Republican Party’s member Edward Durr, during his re-election in 2021.
Sweeny went to Pennsauken High School and graduated in the year 1977. In 1980 on January 1, Sweeny gained Journeyman status after joining ironworkers local 399.
Sweeney was the general vice president at the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers.
From 2006 to 2010, Sweeney served as the Freeholder Director at Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders. At the same time, he also held a seat in the senate of New Jersey.
The career of Stephen Sweeney
On January 12, 2010, Stephen Sweeney took charge as the state Senate President. In 2010, at first, Sweeney didn’t show his support for the legalization of same-sex marriage, but later on, he was the prime sponsor of this legislation. The same bill was passed by both houses but was rejected by Governor Chris Christie.
During his term, he made all the efforts and was successful in creating jobs for the people. Also, he worked to bring about economic growth. Sweeney was regarded as a “Politician Who’s Ahead of the Curve” by Philadelphia magazine.
When Chris Christie used the line-item veto on the 2011 state budget, Sweeney was angered. On this, he unapologetically said, “I don’t apologize for it. The governor was wrong to hurt people.”
About Edward Durr
Edward Duur, who is originally a Truck driver but is now a senator for New Jersey. Durr won the powerful democrat leader, Stephen Sweeney for the 3rd legislative district.
It was reported that Sweeney spent a huge sum of $305,000 while Durr only spent around $2300 for the election campaign. This defeat of Sweeney by Durr made headlines this year as it was the most unexpected.
Apart from being a truck driver, Durr has also run for the election of the New Jersey General Assembly in the year 2017 and 2019 but was unsuccessful.
He always mentioned in his early life, as claimed by him, “I will shock the world”, but he actually did by winning this seat against Sweeney.
Although Sweeney was the longest-running president, Durr was motivated enough to stand opposite him. He ran as a republican and got his victory by only spending about $2300 for his campaign. On the day of his massive win, he said, “It didn’t happen because of me. I’m nobody. Absolutely nobody. I’m just a simple guy. It was the people. It was a repudiation of the policies that have been forced down their throats”
Durr has always been in controversy for his tweets, social media posts, and certain remarks. He apologized by saying, “I’m a passionate guy and I sometimes say things in the heat of the moment. If I said things in the past that hurt anybody’s feelings, I sincerely apologize”.
Some of his remarks like “Islam is a false religion” and “Mohammed is a paedophile” have created a lot of religious and political upheaval. Calling himself a constitutional conservative, Durr has advocated for cutting income taxes, corporate taxes, and other state taxes. He has also made efforts to reduce property taxes. As a supporter of Fetal Heartbeat legislation, he said, “abortion is wrong and should be stopped”.
The reason for this unexpected win
The election results have unfolded the populous nature of elections. Sweeney while conceding to the loss blamed ‘a red wave’ of republican voter turnout which leads to this loss.
Durr defeated Sweeney by over 2000 votes. Edward Durr himself gave the credit of his win to Phil Murphy’s incompetence to handle the pandemic. Durr again made headlines when he said that his only focus is to Thwart Phil Murphy.
Later on, he said, “This is all new to me. It’s all overwhelming, but I am very happy that the voters selected me. I’m going to earn that vote and I’m going to prove them right.” Phil Murphy too, had a near-miss this election when he was just about to lose the seat to Jack Ciattarelli.
Durr in an interview said, “We have a district that is 150,000 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 are 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.” This is evident that the populous nature of votes has led to the historical win.