GOP still searching for Holt challenger

With the filing deadline less than one week away, the GOP has still not found a candidate to run against three-term Democratic Congressman Rush Holt. Republican County Conventions were held in Middlesex on Saturday and Mercer on Monday without selecting a candidate, but party leaders say they hope to find someone in time to appear at the Monmouth convention this weekend. Holt won the seat in a surprise upset against freshman GOP Congressman Michael Pappas in 1998 and was re-elected in 2000 by just 551 votes against former Congressman Richard Zimmer. After redistricting made the district far more Democratic-friendly, Holt won 62% against a much-heralded Republican challenger, former Secretary of State DeForest “Buster” Soaries in 2002, and 60% in 2004 against former College Republican National Chairman Bill Spadea.

GOP still searching for Holt challenger