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New Jersey state senator flips from Republican to Democrat

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Longtime Republican New Jersey state Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego has switched parties to become a Democrat, a move she says was made in part because the party of Ronald Reagan “no longer exists.”

Addiego announced the party switch Monday, increasing the Democrat’s majority in the state Senate to 26. Democrats also control the state Assembly.

The 56-year-old attorney has represented South Jersey’s 8th District since 2010, and she says she was not elected “to be content in the role of loyal opposition.”

State Republican Party Chairman Doug Steinhardt slammed Addiego’s defection, saying she is turning her back on the voters that put her in office.

Democratic Senate President Stephen Sweeney says Addiego will bring “a view and a voice that’ll strengthen our team.”

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