Former Assemblymember John Burzichelli won a key victory for Democrats Tuesday night, defeating Ed Durr, who became a star on the right after his shocking defeat of Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney in 2021, the Associated Press projects.

Burzichelli’s Democratic Assembly running mates, Heather Simmons and Dave Bailey Jr., also lead Republican Assemblymember Bethanne McCarthy Patrick and Hopewell Township Committee member Tom Tedesco. The Associated Press has not yet called the Assembly election.

Background: Durr, a truck driver, slipped under the political radar in 2021, surprising even himself when he ousted Sweeney, who had invested little in his reelection campaign and focused more on running for governor in 2025. Democrats back then did not use opposition research against Durr, like when he wrote on Facebook in 2020 about abortion that “Women do have a choice! Keep their legs closed.”

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