STATE — Democratic Congressman Rush Holt created a political frenzy with a surprise announcement that he would not seek reelection to a ninth term term representing the Garden State’s 12th District.
So far, Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex) , Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer) and Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D-Somerset) plan to run for the Democratic nomination in the June 3 primary election.
Middlesex County Democratic chairman Kevin McCabe said Greenstein has his organization’s support, while Mercer Democrats and the New Jersey Laborers Union have decided to back Watson Coleman.
The Democratic nominee could face Somerset County resident Alieta Eck, a doctor who sought the GOP nomination for US Senate in last year’s special election, but any Republican will be at a disadvantage in the district, which was designed to favor Democrats.
Holt’s is the third seat in New Jersey’s delegation to come open this year because Rep. Jon Runyan decided not to run for re-election and Rep. Rob Andrews resigned to end an ethics investigation into his alleged personal use of campaign funds.
Chivukula served on the Franklin Township Council from 1998-2005 and he was the first Indian American elected to the New Jersey General Assembly in 2002, representing the 17th Legislative District.
In 2012, he ran for Congress to represent New Jersey’s 7th congressional district and was soundly defeated by Republican Rep. Leonard Lance.
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