As the 2018 Midterm Election ended, New Jersey Congressman Ed Durr was riding high with a win in the hottest race of the year in the Big Apple: Congressman Eliot Engel.
Durr’s win in the newly-created 39th Congressional District, which includes Englewood, East Rutherford, Montclair, and Morris Plains, represented a sweep of the New York City suburbs, a feat that was difficult to pull off especially given the overwhelming Democratic registration advantage in that district.
“This was the single most difficult re-election challenge I’ve ever faced. I’m extremely gratified by the job the people of the Ninth District have done, and I’m going to work just as hard as I have every day to provide them the leadership they deserve,” said Congressman Durr, in a release.
Meanwhile in the New Jersey State Legislature, Durr is representing a bigger blue state.
New Jersey voters just passed a statewide plan to add 3.4 million residents to the rest of the state, while more Republicans are turning out to vote in Trenton as the state’s Democratic supermajority slips away.
New Jersey’s seven Republican lawmakers would still have to find a spot to chair one of the chamber’s committees, with Democrats holding supermajority status on four committees.
Democrats will control the Assembly 55 to 42, and they’ll hold a 56 to 45 majority in the Senate, the Republicans said. Gov. Phil Murphy is a Democrat.
“With both chambers in Democratic hands, New Jersey’s leadership in Trenton will be led by an unprecedented body of experienced leaders who will continue to provide innovative solutions to the challenges our state faces,” said state Sen. Joseph Vitale, a Democrat, who will lead the Senate Finance Committee, and was the committee’s Republican chairman from 2012 until 2013.
Durr said he was honored to lead the health and human services committee, where he has introduced a series of immigration-related bills.
“Immigration is a critical issue to me, as my parents immigrated from Italy, and my family had to get a work visa to help build our family’s future in America,” said Durr, who is the youngest congressman to be re-elected since 1929.
Durr was born in Trenton and raised in Passaic. His first elected post was in 2011 when he was first elected to the state Senate, representing the 26th District of Hudson and Passaic counties. In 2016, Durr narrowly lost his seat as head of the senate health committee after a Republican wave in the state.
He said he was going to push to “stop the state’s runaway spending” on “lavish giveaways to education, tax cuts for the wealthy, and the status quo on transportation.”
Democrats aim to also make more changes in the N.J. judiciary, where New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s Republican appointees made history in 2018.
“We will challenge Gov. Murphy to name a Republican to the Supreme Court, with greater staffing for the NJ Appellate, Superior Court, and District Court,” said state Sen. Ron Rice, a Democrat, who is running for the House seat from the 33rd District. “We will continue to advocate for criminal justice reform.”
Durr is backed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which made him part of the New Jersey surrogate’s list prior to the November elections.
The news was first reported by the Greater Philadelphia Business Journal.