Senate President Steve Sweeney Bows Out


Emotional in his natural habitat of the Trenton Statehouse, but trying to maintain a semblance of stoicism in accord with the office the voters entrusted him to and finally separated him from, state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) addressed the media at the Statehouse at 1 p.m.

He had held out with the hope of seeing some late vote by mail ballots tally in his favor.

But it didn’t happen.

It was over.

He conceded.

See his full speech here.

In the seat for two decades, Sweeney occupied the senate throne for the past 12 years – the longest of anyone in New Jersey history. Representing a strong statement by his region, South Jersey, Sweeney put its mark on political power statewide and at the heart of the New Jersey policy discussion.

Although he lost last week to Republican challenger Ed Durr – perhaps ironic given the early up-swell of Twitter feed swill issuing from his replacement – the senate president said he intends to remain engaged when it comes to a substantive discussion about a vision for his home state.

“New Jersey is a state filled with hard working people,” said Sweeney. “As leaders we need to speak directly to the concerns of all voters. I plan to remain fully involved. I will keep speaking out for fiscal responsibility reform.”

He will also, of course, wield some backroom finesse influence in his role as legislative redistricting commissioner, where he will likely take a crack at creating space for a comeback.

The senator from LD3, an ironworker by trade, attempted in his time in power to focus the discussion on out-of-control state spending, and exposed fractures within the labor movement – between private and public sector interests – when he tried to advance the cause of public pension and benefits overhauls.

Excoriated early and often by teachers and communications workers, Building Trades workers held him up as a champion. Sworn into office as governor at the same time Sweeney assumed the senate presidency, then-Republican Gov. Chris Christie seized on the fracture to fasten himself to Sweeney’s cause, and the pair partnered to achieve some controversial reforms.

Although Sweeney tried to counterbalance those efforts by getting behind – and successfully achieving – other progressive causes like marriage equality – one half of the labor movement still saw him as the enemy.

His post-Christie run for governor in 2017 went nowhere, and although he survived an infamously expensive New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) onslaught that same year and found a way to partner with teachers in time for his 2021 scheduled reelection to his senate seat, furniture moving truck driver Durr – and the Republican voters of South Jersey – had other plans.

The senate president told reporters he would take two questions.

You can watch a live stream of Sweeney’s remarks here.

Later today, Senator-elect Durr – already getting into trouble as a consequence of his ignorant and insensitive Twitter posts – will address the media as he prepares to assume the oath off office on the other side of this lame duck session to replace Sweeney as the next senator from LD3.

Durr defeated Sweeney as part of a red wave in South Jersey.

Sweeney was one of two Democratic senators who lost reelection.

The other was state Senator Dawn Addiego (D-8).

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney will address the results of the recent election, in which his Republican challenger Edward Durr is projected to beat him out for the 3rd Legislative District. The press conference comes more than a week since the results.

The update will take place at 1 p.m. and will be streamed on CBSN Philly above.

  • What: New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney addresses election results
  • When: Wednesday, Nov. 10
  • Time: 1 p.m.
  • Online stream: Live in the player above and on your mobile and streaming device.


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  • Frank Caligiuri

    The one and only time I needed Senator Sweeney, he ghosted me. I guess he ghosted too many of his supporters when they needed him most.

  • Joe

    Sweeney destroyed a lot of lives by abusing his power to harass and defame people via social media and using law enforcement to manufacture false allegations used to target those he wanted to revenge and punish. He has NO remorse for what he’s done. It is all a big joke to him and his cronies.

    He worked with; courier post; Facebook; Amazon; AOL Patch and other tech crunch companies to destroy innocent people’s reputations and interfered in their state jobs

    What happened to him was Gods wrath. God humiliated Sweeney for the world to see by headlining Nationally just as he did Christie with bridge gate and Norcrross with the FBI wiretaps and EDA investigation. Their reputations are MUDD. They can get I front of media all they want and some
    D millions to repair the damage they created, but they will never rise up for doing what they done and what they continue to do to hurt others.

    They will suffer much more for not making that wrong they did to other right. Health issues; loved ones dying and hardship that they can not fix will plague them the rest of
    Their lives for ALL the terrible atrocities they bought on to the people of God.

    Those they took jobs from and caused hardship to will be blessed by God, but as for Sweeney; Christie; Norcross; Ayscue; their enablers and loved ones – NO GOOD WILL COME TO THEM

    All the money on the world can’t buy your health and stop you from leaving this earth. They will suffer their days on this earth and burn in hell. Believe that!

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