FOX NEWS - Democratic New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney says thousands of "recently found" ballots supports his refusal to concede to a Republican challenger who ran a low-budget campaign.
"The results from Tuesday’s election continue to come in, for instance there were 12,000 ballots recently found in one county," Sweeney said in an email to the Philadelphia Inquirer on Thursday. "While I am currently trailing in the race, we want to make sure every vote is counted. Our voters deserve that, and we will wait for the final results."
Sweeney’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the matter, specifically on identifying which South Jersey county recently found the ballots.
Sweeney has been in the state Senate seat in South Jersey’s 3rd district since 2002.
Former New Jersey State Senator Steve Sweeney.
The Associated Press called the race for Republican truck driver and political newcomer, Edward Durr, Thursday morning, with 100% of precincts reporting at 32,742 votes for Durr to 30,444 for Sweeney.
By Sunday morning, Sweeney has not conceded. Democratic State Sen. Nicholas Scutari is poised to succeed Sweeney as Senate president, NJ.com reported Friday.
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Durr, a Raymour & Flanigan furniture truck driver, ran a campaign based on his conservative and blue collar values. He ran a low-budget campaign, shooting a campaign video on a smartphone and rarely hitting the trail to meet with voters.
"It didn’t happen because of me. I’m nobody. I’m just a simple guy," Durr said last week of the projected win. "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."
"I want this job. I don’t want all the fame, but I want this job," Durr said. "I want to be the voice. I want to be somebody who can speak for the people. Because, one, I got a big mouth, so I like to make myself heard."
He made headlines last week for spending only $153 on campaigning, which he pushed back on as only showing data from May or June.
"You guys go in on the New Jersey Elect, obviously, and you find $153 filed. Well, that was back in May, June. That shows how behind New Jersey government is on keeping things updated," Durr said.
New Jersey’s gubernatorial election last week also saw a surprisingly tight race between Democratic incumbent Phil Murphy and Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli. Murphy has declared victory, but Ciattarelli has also refused to concede.
"I don't want people falling victim to wild conspiracy theories or online rumors," Ciattarelli said in a video last week. "While consideration is paid to any and all credible reports, please don't believe everything you see or read online."
Though the race between Murphy and Ciattarelli was surprisingly tight, strategists and politicians say no other New Jersey race was as surprising as the Durr-Sweeney race.
"No one on God’s earth could have predicted that," Democratic state Sen. Richard Codey said, according to NJ.com.
"Anyone who said they saw this coming is lying. Even Sweeney’s opponent didn’t see this coming," Democratic strategist Joshua Henne said of the race.