Almost every incumbent in the New Jersey state Senate won Tuesday-- although two races are undecided. "Ex" Republican Dawn Marie Addiego (D) is trailing Jean Stanfield (R) and freshman Monmouth Senate Majority Leader Vin Gopal (D) is ahead of Lori Annetta (R) but it's close and the race hasn't been officially called yet. And then there's the one awesome outlier of a powerful "untouchable" Democratic incumbent being dumped by the voters. Republican truck driver Ed Durr beat corrupt Machine dog and Senate president Steve Sweeney 52-48%. Am I gloating? Are you kidding? This is incredibly wonderful! Sweeney was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the corrupt Norcross Machine. I'm hoping Sweeney's loss not just knocks him out of the 2025 gubernatorial race, but also indicates that Donald Norcross loses to progressive Democrat Mario De Santis in the 2022 congressional primary.
Durr, who spent a few hundred dollars for his make-believe "campaign," most of it at Dunkin Donuts, admitted that "It didn’t happen because of me. I’m nobody. I’m just a simple guy. It was a repudiation of the policies that have been forced down our throat, people told they can’t go to school, can’t go shopping. You cannot continue to tell people they can’t do things when we live in the freest country in the world."
Outside of government, Sweeney is a paid officer in the International Ironworkers Union. As Senate president, his ability to decide what laws get considered rivals the power of the governors he worked with.
So how does a political king such as Sweeney get knocked out so easily by a guy who threw his hat in the ring on a whim?
“Democrats need to enthuse their base and they need to talk about things more than just Donald Trump. You have to talk about things that are making lives better for people in their day-to-day lives,” [Democratic strategist Joshua] Henne said.
Political strategist Jeanette Hoffman says when election issues include the economy taxes and schools, Republicans do really well, adding the power dynamics in the statehouse will be changing.
“It remains to be seen who will control the agenda in the statehouse and will that person work together with the next governor,” Hoffman said.
“I’m not gonna change nothing. The people are going to change if the people’s voices are heard,” Durr said.
Sweeney has yet to concede, saying he wants to make sure every vote is counted and that voters deserve that.
Despite reports that he spent just $150, Durr said he spent less than $10,000 on the race.
In contrast, the NJEA, the state’s largest teachers union, spent $5.4 million in 2017 against Sweeney, yet he still won.
I was also happy to see McAuliffe lose, although, obviously not happy to see the greater evil, Glenn Youngkin win. Democrats should think about that when they nominate their candidates in the future; try picking candidates who don't suck. McAuliffe dragged down both the other statewide candidates with him, Hala Ayala and Mark Herring, although both performed better than McAuliffe.
Worse is that the House of Delegates flipped into Republican hands, the 5-seat Democratic majority erased when 7 Democratic seats went to the GOP. What's really terrifying about that is that just a week ago, a Virginia Democratic Party operative was explaining that they didn't want to win too many Republican seats because if they had all that power and started passing progressive legislation, it would jeopardize the more conservative Democrats in the state Senate who would be forced by their own conservatism to vote against the legislation, pissing off the Democratic base.
Of the 100 House seats, 4 are still uncalled, although it looks like A.C. Cordoza (R) may beat Martha Mugler, a Republican who has been pretending to be a Democrat. Karen Greenhalgh (R) appears to have edged Alex Askew. It also appears that Kelly Convirs-Fowler (D) is going to hold onto her seat and that Wendy Gooditis (D) will also come out on top.
It will be a pleasure getting rid of Mugler, as well as two other hideous incumbents who have officially lost: homophobic ex-closet case and Liberty University lunatic Josh Cole and Nancy Guy, who was a Republican recruited to run as a Democrat by Sandra Brandt, the progressive-hating chair of the 2nd congressional district Dems. The Virginia Beach, Eastern shore and Norfolk Democrats will always be a mess until they get rid of Brandt. The end of Guy's political career is a great step in that direction.
Josh Cole should never have been allowed to run as a Democrat. When he did, in 2019, his own campaign literature described him as "an exciting young preacher running as the Democratic candidate for Delegate for Virginia’s 28th District, in Stafford County and Fredericksburg, Virginia." He described himself as "charismatic" and "polished" and as the "National Director of Ecumenical Affairs for the Holy Christian Orthodox Church." In 2017 when he first ran, he described himself as a priest in the Holy Christian Orthodox Church, although suddenly he started styling himself as a Baptist minister. Are you wondering what the Holy Christian Orthodox Church is? The denomination was founded by Timothy Paul Baymon, who is the Patriarch, President of the the World Bishops Council, the denomination's ecumenical body and president of Springfield Christian College and Theological Seminary, a non-accredited school that turns out charlatans. He's probably best known as the opening act on a 51 date tour with crackpot huckster "Rev" Sun Myung Moon. Baymon has been credibly attacked for practicing witchcraft and brainwashing.
My favorite result, aside from Cole losing was to see another Brandt-recruited Republican running with a "D" next to her name, Kim Melnyk, lose to Glenn Davis, an actual Republican moderate in Virginia Beach's swing district. Now people don't register to vote by party in Virginia, so the way you know how they self-identify is by looking at which parties' primaries they've voted in. Melnyk has a 25 year history of only participating in Republican primaries; 12 primaries in 25 election years; most recently, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020-- ALL Republican primaries. She has voted sporadically, but exclusively in Republican primaries going back to 1996. Then there are the political contributions-- she and her husband donate to Republicans-- and not to Democrats.
I usually prefer to see bad Democrats lose in primaries. But in some cases-- like Cole's, Mugler's, Guy's and, of course, Melnyk's, if the Democrats refuse to do it-- let them go down to Republicans. There's always a silver lining. And speaking of beating bad Democrats in primaries... step right up-- these are some of the very worst, and being primaried by solid progressives.