Think You Can’t Make a Difference? Just Ask Edward Durr

Who is Edward Durr, you wonder? He’s the truck driver who just defeated the president of the New Jersey State Senate in Tuesday’s elections. Even more remarkable than knocking off the person who was arguably the second most powerful elected official in the Garden State is that Mr. Durr accomplished this feat with a campaign war chest of $153. That is not a typo. Durr defeated State Senate President Steve Sweeney – who undoubtedly had a lot more cash to work with – for about what it costs him to fill up his truck with gas these days in New Jersey.

As the department within FAIR that deals with the many citizens and activists who reach out to us for help in ensuring that immigration laws protect their interests and safety (which is how it is supposed to work), the biggest obstacle we have to overcome is discouragement and hopelessness in the face of elected officials and bureaucracies that ignore, or outright disdain, the concerns of the people they are supposed to serve.

We don’t know what motivated Mr. Durr to take on the president of the State Senate. We don’t know the reasons the majority of voters in his senate district decided to pull the lever for an obscure truck driver with $153 in his campaign coffer. It was probably multiple factors, all having to do with the New Jersey political establishment’s arrogance and contempt for the people of New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy, who appears to have hung on to his job by the skin of his teeth, notably scolded the public for complaining about high taxes saying, “If taxes are your issue, then New Jersey’s probably not your state.”

Mr. Durr is not the only one who took on the establishment and won. A hundred miles or so down I-95 in Virginia, other citizen activists, Asra Nomani and Ian Prior, played a key role in holding a contemptuous political establishment accountable. Ms. Nomani and Mr. Prior didn’t run for office, but they sure made a difference. Fed-up with the patronizing disdain they and other parents (or, as U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland likes to call them, “domestic terrorists”) were receiving from local school boards that were treating them “like dirt,” they organized a political movement that shook up Virginia’s political establishment.

We at FAIR deal with citizens and activists all across the country who, when they express their concerns about costs, crime, drain on social services and other byproducts of mass immigration and sanctuary policies are told to shut up. Being told to shut up, or worse, to be falsely accused of promoting hatred, for expressing legitimate concerns can be disheartening – which is exactly what the people who institute sanctuary policies and taxpayer giveaways to illegal aliens want.

Not everyone is going to end the political career of a powerful elected official for $153, but as Edward Durr, Asra Nomani, and Ian Prior demonstrated this week, the entrenched political establishment can be made to listen. If you are looking for ways to make the political establishments in your community or state listen to your concerns about unchecked immigration and dangerous sanctuary policies, we encourage you to join FAIR’s network of local activists.

To borrow a slogan from the open borders, mass amnesty lobby, Si se puede!

About Author


Shari Rendall brings to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) over 15 years of experience in government relations and grassroots advocacy. In her former position, Shari led the legislation department in coordinating lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill and briefing congressional and administration staff on a wide range of issues. She has also been responsible for grassroots communications and helping state associations devise their legislative strategies. She began her time in D.C. working on Capitol Hill in the office of former Sen. Bob Smith (R-New Hampshire) as a Legislative Aide.