“People were, like, shocked,” Mr. Durr said. “They’d say, ‘Nobody’s ever been here.’”
Mr. Durr said he hoped to keep his job as a truck driver for the Raymour & Flanigan furniture chain, and the health insurance it provides, even after he is sworn in as a senator, a part-time position that pays $49,000. Lawmakers who took office after 2010 are not eligible for health coverage.
He rides a 2012 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, spoils his three pit bulls — “I call them my fur babies” — and, with his five siblings, takes care of his mother, a recent widow who lives next door.
Before joining the furniture company, he worked in construction and said he often held multiple jobs, including making pastries for Dunkin’ Donuts and working in a farm supply store. During two growing seasons, he drove trucks for East Coast Sod and Seed.
“He was on time,” said Andy Mottel, the manager of the Pilesgrove, N.J., farm, which transports sod across the country and provides the field grass for Yankee Stadium. “He worked every day. He has that strong voice — very knowledgeable about sports.”
Mr. Durr completed his G.E.D. through Gloucester City High School, and he has made no secret of his unease with his sudden stardom. (“I feel like I’m about to throw up,” he said the day Mr. Sweeney conceded.) He will be a member of the minority party in the State House, making it unlikely he will have significant power to steer or stonewall legislation.
When ticking off his legislative priorities, he mentions goals like “bringing jobs here, bringing businesses here,” and he is the first to say he has a lot to learn about how Trenton works. “If it’s an issue that concerns New Jersey citizens, I’m going fight for it,” he said.
It was his fourth campaign for public office. He ran for State Assembly as an independent in 2017 and as a Republican in 2019, and he ran last year for Logan Township council.