Princeton resident Daniel Dart, a former local school board member, has announced that he will run as a Democrat for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 12th Congressional District for New Jersey.
Dart will run against incumbent Bonnie Watson Coleman, who was re-elected with 63.1% of the vote in 2022.
In an email announcing his 2024 election bid on Tuesday, Jan. 16, Dart said he is running as a moderate Democrat because Congress is broken.
“We deserve a functional congress to move our nation forward. As a moderate Democrat with a proven track record, I will work with members of both parties to solve problems using common sense practical solutions,” Dart wrote. “It’s time for new leadership and change. Last year, despite over 700 votes, only 27 bills became law, one of the worst years for productivity in modern history.”
According to New Jersey voter registration records, Dart was a registered Republican in 2017. According to Federal Election Commission public records, Dart donated $2,400 to Scott Sipprelle’s campaign for Congress when Sipprelle ran as a Republican against Rush Holt in 2010. Dart also contributed $1,500 to Chris Christie’s 2023 bid for the Republican nomination for president.
Dart said his conversion to the Democratic Party began to occur when Donald Trump ran for president, and that he voted for HillaryClinton and Joe Biden for president.
“Political parties change but my ideals have not,” Dart said in an email to Planet Princeton. “I am running as a moderate democrat because my views most closely resemble the ideals of the Democratic Party. I believe that solutions require compromise and that an individual like me with moderate views can effect positive change.”
In his email announcing his candidacy for the 12th Congressional District, Dart listed issues he intends to highlight, including the need for a strong, growing economy with stable prices, securing the southern border and immigration reform, protecting the environment, protecting our freedoms including the freedom to choose, and national security.
Dart also wrote that he believes in term limits.
“The incumbent is a career politician who served in the New Jersey General Assembly for 17 years and is now running for her sixth term in Congress,” Dart wrote. “She will be 79 years old on February 6. After 27 years of service, it’s time for new energy and leadership.”
Dart told Planet Prineton he is running because Congress has become so polarized that nothing is getting done.
“I believe that we need immigration as birth rates decline and our economy needs new skilled and unskilled workers,” Dart said. “However, inaction in Congress has led to a humanitarian crisis. The migrant crisis in New York City could rapidly spill over to New Jersey, overcrowd our schools and overwhelm our communities. For example, the New York City mayor recently housed migrants in a high school that requires students to learn remotely. I want to ensure that does not happen here.”
Dart said he is also running for Congress because of the recent Supreme Court decision that removed a women’s freedom to choose an abortion. “I believe in the freedoms to choose, the freedom to marry whomever one wants and the freedom of self identity,” he said.
He also said he running to protect the planet and to protect all students from hate. “We have recently seen a rapid rise in antisemitism,” Dart said.
Dart’s prior experience in public office is at the local level as a former member of the Princeton Board of Education, where he served one three-year term. He also served as a trustee and treasurer for the Watershed Institute in Pennington for six years and serves as an advisory member of the Watershed Institute. He was also the chair of the investment committee for the Corner House Foundation.
Dart, 67, was a chief operating officer at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers in Plainsboro. A native of Boston, he has lived in Princeton with his family for 22 years.