Rush Holt, Princeton Physicist-Turned-Congressman, Will Retire

U.S. Congressman Rush Holt, a  a former professor of public policy and physicist at Princeton University who served eight terms in the House of Representatives, has decided to not seek reelection in 2014.

Holt, D-Mercer-Middlesex, told The Washington Post that "there is no hidden motive for my decision," saying:

"As friends who have worked with me know, I have never thought that the primary purpose of my work was reelection and I have never intended to make service in the House my entire career. For a variety of reasons, personal and professional, all of them positive and optimistic, the end of this year seems to me to be the right time to step aside and ask the voters to select the next representative."

In 1998, Holt successfully challenged one-term Congressman Michael Pappas for the seat that covers much of Mercer and Middlesex counties. The incumbent's campaign experienced a setback after he read a poem, set to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," praising Kenneth Starr - a special prosecutor investigating the Clinton administration - on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Holt defeated Pappas by 4 percentage points, 51 to 47 percent, becoming the first Democrat to represent the district in two decades.

John Currie, Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, issued the following statement:

"Congressman Rush Holt has been a truly inspiring public servant, and it is sad to lose someone so dedicated to his constituents and renowned for his intellect."

"It's not every day that a teacher and a scientist also proves himself to be an electoral juggernaut, again and again winning elections that others doubted he could, while funding his campaigns primarily through a New Jersey-based network of small-dollar donors. It's not just that he won or how much he won by, but the way he campaigned that distinguished him." 

"For many years, middle class families across the state will benefit from the investments in education, research, and infrastructure that Congressman Holt fought to secure. He deserves our thanks."

"I look forward to talking to prospective candidates that are interested in running in Congressman's Holt's district, understanding that he leaves big shoes to fill."

The 12th District includes these towns:

Mercer County (10)
Ewing TownshipEast WindsorHightstownHopewell TownshipHopewell BoroughLawrence TownshipPenningtonPrinceton,TrentonWest Windsor Township

Middlesex County (14)

Cranbury TownshipDunellenEast Brunswick TownshipHelmettaJamesburgMiddlesexMilltownMonroe TownshipNorth Brunswick TownshipOld Bridge Township (part, also 6), Plainsboro TownshipSouth Brunswick TownshipSouth River Borough, and Spotswood Borough

Somerset County (4)

Bound BrookFranklin TownshipManvilleSouth Bound Brook

Union County (3)

FanwoodPlainfieldScotch Plains
Rick February 18, 2014 at 06:45 PM
It's not fun in congress when your in the minority.They lose control of the purse strings and with that power .Quite a few of the Dems are jumping ship and you can't blame them,they see the House not changing and the loss of the Senate .Time to collect for all the favors they gave .
Simon February 18, 2014 at 08:51 PM
Wonderful news, but I expect no change in this hopelessly leftist, brain-washed Congressional district.
Simon February 18, 2014 at 08:52 PM
@DONNY: They're jumping ship because they still cannot understand anyone's position but their own. Therein lies the fundamental problem.
Lawrence February 18, 2014 at 10:52 PM
Right you are, Simon, but perhaps the left will put up someone who will fall on their face or the right will put up a likeable candidate. We have to have hope!
Rebecca Juro February 19, 2014 at 09:51 AM
As a constituent of Rush Holt, this is nothing short of tragedy for NJ's 12th District. Congressman Holt has been a reliable progressive vote as well as one of the very few DC Dems who prioritize people over politics. When DC Democrats were ready to throw transgender American working families under the bus to pander to bigots demagoging the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007, Rush Holt refused to go along with Barney Frank's and Nancy Pelosi's elitist political gamesmanship and joined with other real progressive Democrats to refuse to vote for the bill without transgender protections. This is a man of principle, and we are going to miss him greatly. I just hope that whoever replaces Holt will be at least half as good as he's been for us.
Joe R February 19, 2014 at 01:45 PM
I agree with the remarks of Rebecca, Rush Holt has been an excellent representative and will be greatly missed. One can only hope that he will be replaced by someone as progressive and as intelligent as he has been. We don't need another right winger or Tea Party idiot in the Congress who believes in creationism and wants to take us back to 1852. The House is already awash in right wingers and regressive cretins who are anti science and want to destroy government because they hate government and anything that helps ordinary Americans such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something