U.S. Rep. Rush Holt sent a note to supporters today informing them that he will announced today that he 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,” Holt wrote. “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.”
Holt, who started his career as a scientist and teacher, said he will remain involved in community issues. He said it is too early to discuss next steps in his career.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
Holt said there is no hidden motive for his decision to retire from Congress.
“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,” Holt said. “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.”
Officials who heard of Holt’s plans praised him as a tireless advocate for his constituents.
“There are few elected officials who have worked harder than Rush Holt or have served with such dignity, rising above the petty partisan fray that seems to be so commonplace in American politics,” Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said. “As county executive, I’ve enjoyed a close working relationship with Rush, who is also my friend, and I’m grateful for and proud of the work he has done for the people of Mercer County and beyond.”
Holt said his decision 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,” he wrote. 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.”