By David Madden

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — New Jersey Democrats are strutting proud, given the results of Tuesday’s election. Come mid-January, they’ll be in firm control in Trenton for the first time in eight years.

One of those in charge, a South Jersey politician basking in the afterglow of his largest personal electoral victory.

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State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) enjoyed an 18 point victory over his Republican re-election opponent, no easy feat when you consider the millions of dollars spent in a truly bitter battle.

“They were calling me trash,” he told KYW Newsradio. “They accused me of being a lobbyist. You can’t be a lobbyist. I think their message was so aggressive and so over the top, it turned people off.”

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Sweeney is likely to retain his leadership post on Thursday as the legislature reorganizes for the upcoming term. But remember, he did want to run for governor himself, only to step aside when Phil Murphy brought pressure to bear from within the party.

That’s history now and Sweeney looks forward to working with the Governor-elect, although he does look a little further back in time.

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“We controlled all branches of the government when Jon Corzine was governor and at times  we had fights,” Sweeney added.” We’re not looking for fights but Democrats love to have a healthy dialogue on issues. But I expect we’ll get a lot done.”