Truck driver with surprise NJ senate win apologizes for posts about Islam, vaccine mandates, Capitol riot

New Jersey Elections

Edward Durr speaks to near his home in Swedesboro, N.J. on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. New Jersey’s longtime state Senate president, Democrat Steve Sweeney lost reelection, falling to Durr, a Republican newcomer who spent little money and underscoring Democratic woes in the Biden era. (Ellie Rushing/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

TRENTON, N.J. — A truck driver who ousted the powerful New Jersey Senate president in the election has apologized for social media posts including ones where he called Islam “a false religion,” compared vaccine mandates to the Holocaust and defended rioters at the Capitol.

Republican Edward Durr called himself “a passionate guy” and apologized to anyone whose feelings he had hurt. Media outlets found the posts from Durr on Twitter and Facebook on Thursday and Friday, though by Friday, his Twitter account was no longer visible.

Durr apologized in statements to radio station WHYY and the New Jersey Globe website.

He did not respond to messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Durr, a furniture company truck driver and first-time officeholder, defeated Democrat Sweeney in New Jersey’s 3rd Legislative District, according to results tallied Thursday. Sweeney’s defeat was unexpected, and has cast the fate of state government into uncertainty.

Durr describes himself as a 2nd Amendment rights advocate and fiscally conservative, who wants to lower taxes. In an interview with NJ.com, he described how unlikely he viewed his victory to be. He has previously run unsuccessfully for state Assembly in 2017 and 2019, but this is his first elected position.

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