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Here's the latest for Wednesday, November 8th: President Trump in China; Trump sends warning to North Korea; Democrats win races for Governor in Virginia, New Jersey; Former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay dies in plane crash. AP

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VINELAND – N.J. Senate President Steve Sweeney won his 3rd Legislative District race against Republican challenger Francis Grenier by more than 9,300 votes in the most expensive legislative race in state history, according to preliminary totals from Tuesday's election.

“I want to thank the people of the Third District for their continued support and for continuing to give me the responsibility of fighting for their needs and priorities,” said Sweeney, who won his sixth term. “The voters stayed focused on the issues of importance to their families, their communities and their future, and I have remained focused on the progress and achievements that will make their lives better and improve opportunities for their children. I am always ready to fight for their best interests.”

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Sweeney, a Democrat from Gloucester County, received 31,542 votes from residents of Gloucester, Cumberland, and Salem counties. Grenier, a Salem County resident and chair of that county's GOP, received 22,204.In the General Assembly race in the 3rd District, Democratic incumbents Paul Burzichelli and Adam Taliaferro beat Republicans Philip Donohue and Linwood Donelson III.

Burzichelli received 31,581 votes and Taliaferro 30,471.

Donohue received 21,629 votes and Donelson 20,062.

“We worked hard during the campaign to listen to the residents of the district and to communicate our continued commitment to the issues that have a real impact on their lives and we will work just as hard to represent their interests in the Legislature,” said Burzichelli. “We are grateful for the support of the voters and we embrace the opportunity to take on the challenges that will move New Jersey forward.”

“We worked together as a team of candidates with a shared vision and we will continue to work as a team with a shared agenda for progress,” said Taliaferro. “We always put the needs of working families first and we always look to improve their lives and the opportunities of their children and grandchildren.”

The race for the state Senate seat saw roughly $15 million in expenditures with the New Jersey Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union, spending at least $4.5 million in a failed effort to defeat Sweeney.

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Sweeney angered the union when he failed to post a vote for a constitutional amendment requiring the state to make pension payments quarterly.

Joseph P. Smith; (856) 563-5252; jsmith@gannettnj.com

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