TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — The historic election upset is now official. New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, one of the most powerful elected officials in the state, has conceded his race.
Both candidates spoke out Wednesday. Sweeney says we have not seen the last of him yet, while the Senator-elect wants to bury the hatchet.READ MORE: Police: Man Shot Multiple Times, Killed Inside West Oak Lane Corner Store
Sweeney lost reelection to Republican newcomer and commercial truck driver Edward Durr in South Jersey’s 3rd District.
An emotional Sweeney talked about his defeat at the statehouse in Trenton on Wednesday.
It’s the end of a 20-year run in the Senate and a 12-year tenure as president of the chamber.READ MORE: Philadelphia Veteran Marching To Gov. Wolf's Home To Urge Action On Gun Violence
The Democrat says his loss by about 2,000 votes was the result of overwhelming Republican turnout in his politically split district.
It serves parts of Gloucester County, Cumberland County and all of Salem County.
“I’m not going away. I won’t say what I’m doing, but I can tell you something, I’ve been a believer in making New Jersey affordable for a long time,” Sweeney said. “I’ve been the one who’s been through battles for pensions and health care costs for a long time. My voice has been consistent because it’s with the blue-collar workers that I see every day. They’ve got to be able to live here.”
“To Sen. Sweeney, I congratulate you on a long career. Who knows, maybe someday we can have a beer together,” Durr said. “Now the hard work begins. The voters have spoken. They don’t want government rule by a dangerous guy armed with a bunch of executive orders.”MORE NEWS: Penn To Initiate Process To Review Complaints After Professor Amy Wax's Anti-Asian Comments
Sweeney stopped short of saying whether he would seek election to the Senate again in two years or run for governor in 2025.