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US Rep. Rush Holt Won’t Seek Re-election

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, a Democrat and former college professor who has represented New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District since 1999, announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election this November.

Representative Rush Holt at Democrat headquarters on Election Night
Representative Rush Holt at Democrat headquarters on Election Night (Maggie Sarlo, Rider News)

“There is no hidden motive for my decision,” Holt said, in a statement released by his office. “As friends who have worked with me know, I have never thought that the primary purpose of my work was re-election 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.”

Holt, 65, a physicist who has also taught public policy, unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat ultimately won by former Newark Mayor Corey Booker.

Here is the full text of his announcement:

“Today I am announcing that I will not seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

“It has been and remains an immense honor for me to represent the people of New Jersey’s 12th District.  I first ran for office because I believed that government can be a positive force in our lives to build community and to increase individual opportunity.  I ran for office because I believed that a representative can build confidence in our self-government by providing conscientious service so that every person knows that he or she has a voice and a stake in our country.  After nearly two decades in public life, I believe these things even more strongly.  I have been taught by the wisdom of my constituents and am as hopeful as ever about the strength of our community, constitution, and country.

“I started my career as a scientist and teacher.  I have in my life sought many ways to serve, and I will remain involved and will contribute to our community to whom I owe so much.  I am proud of my service in the House and am pleased to point to accomplishments in policy areas and in service to individuals in central New Jersey.

“There is no hidden motive for my decision.  As friends who have worked with me know, I have never thought that the primary purpose of my work was re-election 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.

“This is not the time to discuss next steps in my career; that can come later.   This is not a farewell.  My dedicated staff and I remain on the job this year and will work hard with the President and New Jersey’s fine other members of the House and the Senate to continue to advance the public’s interests.  The people I am so fortunate to represent should have no doubts that I will maintain the high standards I have set and they deserve and I am confident my successors will do the same.

“I thank you for all your help.”

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