U.S. Rep. Rush Holt formally announced his decision to run for the open U.S. Senate seat. He has until Monday to collect 1,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Gov. Chris Christie announced a special election to fill the vacancy. The seat became open when Sen. Frank Lautenberg died due to complications from viral pneumonia.
“As you know, I have never shied away from a tough political fight, and I have never wavered in my commitment to advancing progressive priorities,” Holt said in a statement about his candidacy.
“As an educator and a scientist, I know that investing in education, research, and infrastructure are the keys to a stronger, more secure middle class. These are the investments that kept the American Dream alive in the 20th century – investments such as the GI Bill, which made it possible for a young Frank Lautenberg to go to college, to build a business, and to join the United States Senate,” he said. “But the American Dream, and Sen. Lautenberg’s vision for our country, are under attack in Washington today. They are threatened by a worldview that gives ever-greater privilege to the already fortunate: a dogma that demands lower taxes on the wealthy and fewer protections for consumers while letting Wall Street, Big Oil, and insurance companies run free.”
Holt, a resident of Hopewell, has served in Congress for 14 years.
“I have fought back against this destructive ideology and built a record of accomplishment on issues that matter to New Jerseyans. I have helped to increase Pell Grants and student aid for college, invest in research and development, make sure women get equal pay for equal work, improve mental health services for our nation’s veterans, and much more,” he said. “We need a United States Senator who will recommit our nation to these progressive values, who will make the investments needed to keep the American Dream alive in the 21st century. This is not a time for easy cynicism; it is a moment to do the hard work to get our nation back to our best ideals.”
Holt will be running against Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Rep. Frank Pallone. It is also possible New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver could seek the open seat.