Holt announces he’s leaving Congress, at least 9 people seek CD 12 seat

Congressman Rush Holt’s (D-12) announcement Tuesday afternoon not to seek re-election sent shockwaves through the New Jersey political circles.

The federal lawmaker’s surprise announcement and decision spurred lawmakers and other officials interested in possibly mounting a CD 12 congressional bid to get their names on record.

Here’s a recap:

“I’m throwing my hat in the ring,” said state Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-14), who sources say is the favorite to succeed Holt.

(And as a quick side note: Just as quickly as Greenstein announced her interest in running a congressional campaign, both her districtmates announced their interest in seeking her state Senate seat. Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo and Dan Benson told PolitickerNJ they’re interested in moving up to the Senate.)

But Greenstein is hardly the only one interested in replacing the Democratic incumbent in Congress.

There’s state Sen. Shirley Turner (D-15).

Assemblymen Reed Gusciora (D-15) and Upendra Chivukula (D-17) also announced an interest in CD 12.

And don’t count out Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22) or two other Union County names: Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr and Assemblywoman Linda Stender D-22).

There’s at least two more outside of the Statehouse names of officials interested in the spot, as well.

Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes declared shortly after Holt’s announcement that he’s seriously considering another congressional run (he ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. Chris Smith in 1992).

Also, Mercer County Clerk Paula Covello said she’s mulling a run for Congress.

Finally, don’t forget the only person who’s actually already filed to run in CD 12: Dr. Alieta Eck.

Eck, who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination in last year’s U.S. Senate special election, filed for the congressional run last month.

Holt is the third incumbent congressman who decided not to run for re-election this year, joining U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan (R-3) and U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-1).

Holt announces he’s leaving Congress, at least 9 people seek CD 12 seat