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State Sen. Ed Durr at Gov. Phil Murphy’s FY2024 Budget Address. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Durr says no to Senate debate with Sawyer

Matt Rooney invited Durr, Sawyer to faceoff in 1210 WPHT radio debate

By David Wildstein, April 12 2023 11:47 am

Beth Sawyer thinks Ed Durr is a wimp for refusing to debate her in the Republican State Senate primary.

The two 3rd district candidates were invited to face off in a live debate hosted by Matt Rooney on his 1210 WPHT radio show on April 30.

Sawyer said yes, but Durr declined.

“So much for the ‘tough guy, trucker’ act from Senator Durr,” said Sawyer, a freshman assemblywoman.  “The longer this campaign goes on, Republicans in Gloucester, Salem, and Cumberland counties will realize it’s all a farce.”

Durr was elected to the Senate two years, defeating Senate President Steve Sweeney in perhaps the greatest political upset in New Jersey political history.  In the same election, Sawyer took out Assemblyman John Burzichelli, the chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and a ten-term incumbent.

But the relationship between Durr and Sawyer quickly deteriorated, and the two are now locked in a bitter GOP primary battle.

“Ed’s handlers know that I would crush him in a debate.  He doesn’t know the issues and can’t defend his positions and his repeated gaffes,” Sawyer stated.  “I would urge my fellow Republicans to ask themselves: If Ed Durr can’t even debate me in this primary, how can conservatives trust him to stand up to John Burzichelli in the fall, let alone the Democrats in Trenton?”

Rooney, who runs Save Jersey, a conservative political news site, invited the two candidates to participate in a debate on a popular Sunday evening radio show he hosts in the South Jersey/Philadelphia media market.  Now only Sawyer will get airtime.

“Only Beth Sawyer accepted, so as of now, the debate will go on with one candidate,” Rooney said.

The door has not yet closed on Durr.  Rooney will be setting up a chair and microphone in the 1210 WPHT studio if the freshman senator reconsiders.

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