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New Jersey state senator flips from Republican to Democrat

State Sen. Marie Addiego says the party of Ronald Reagan "no longer exists."

The New Jersey State House in Trenton.
The New Jersey State House in Trenton.Read moreSeth Wenig / AP File

TRENTON — Longtime Republican 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 switch Monday, increasing the Democratic majority in the 40-member Senate to 26. Democrats also control the 80-member Assembly.

The 56-year-old lawyer, who has represented the 8th District since 2010, said she was not elected “to be content in the role of loyal opposition.” The district includes much of Burlington County and a bit of Camden County.

State Republican Chairman Doug Steinhardt said Addiego was turning her back on the voters who put her in office. Democratic Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Addiego will bring “a view and a voice that’ll strengthen our team.”