Update: This race call was retracted at 1:11 a.m., after it became clear all three Democrats stood a strong chance of losing.
The New Jersey Globe is projecting that Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford), Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Paulsboro), and Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro (D-Woolwich) have won re-election to the 3rd legislative district.
Sweeney and his Assembly slate faced an underfunded challenge from commercial truck driver Ed Durr, EMT Bethanne McCarthy Patrick, and realtor Beth Sawyer in a district that narrowly voted for Donald Trump twice.
In 2017, the 3rd district hosted the most expensive state legislative race in American history. Republicans and the New Jersey Education Association, both fed up with Sweeney’s time as Senate President, funnelled millions towards Republican Fran Grenier, and Sweeney responded in kind. The ultimate price tag of the race was more than $24 million, but Sweeney won easily, 59-41%.
Sweeney is already a lock for another term as Senate President; the longest-serving legislative leader in state history will extend his record by at least two more years. Burzichelli, the Assembly Appropriations Chair since 2012, is also a legislative power in his own right.
Final 3rd district results:
Durr 51.7% // Sweeney 48.3%
Sawyer 26.2%, McCarthy Patrick 26.1% // Burzichelli 24.0%, Taliaferro 23.6%