New Jersey state senator leaves GOP, giving Dems largest majority in decades
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New Jersey state Sen. Dawn Addiego is leaving the Republican Party to become a Democrat. 

Addiego announced her decision in a statement on Monday, saying that "as gridlock in Washington dominates the news, it has become increasingly clear that in order to effect change you have to be part of the discussion and not on the outside looking in," according to The New Jersey Globe

“The people of the 8th district did not elect me to be content in the role of loyal opposition," she added. 

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The Globe noted that Addiego's switch to the Democratic Party marks a significant victory for Senate President Steve Sweeney and South Jersey Democratic leader George Norcross. 

The move means that there are now seven South Jersey Democratic senators in the legislature. It also gives Democrats a 26-14 majority in the state senate, giving the GOP the smallest amount of seats in the chamber since 1981, according to the paper.

Addiego noted that Sweeney's agenda played a factor in her decision to switch party affiliations. She added that the "core values that originally drew me to the Republican Party have not changed."

"But the party which once echoed the vision of Ronald Reagan no longer exists,” Addiego said. “Oil drilling off our coast and tax policy which unfairly penalizes New Jersey families are just a few examples of a National Republican Party that has lost its way.”

The Globe noted that Addiego has served in public office for 25 years and has represented the 8th District in the state Senate since 2010. 

Doug Steinhardt, chairman of the New Jersey Republican Party, said Addiego's decision represented turning "her back on the voters that put her in office as a member of the Republican Party," according to NorthJersey.com.