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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
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.
Simon April 30, 2014 at 12:26 PM
@Mike: Given the gerrymandered district (guaranteed for the "left wing loons" that you mention), don't expect anything different from his replacement, who will mostlikely even be worse.
Simon May 03, 2014 at 09:39 PM
After 55 years of contributing heavily to this state, I'm headed south for good. Ungrateful, filthy bustards.

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