NJ Dems Line Up to Campaign for Holt’s Seat

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -

The race is on for Democratic candidates hoping to fill Rep. Rush Holt’s seat in Congress.

At least seven potential candidates have contacted Mercer County’s Democratic party chairwoman, Liz Muoio, to express interest in the seat since Tuesday, when Holt announced he would not seek re-election in November.

State Sen. Linda Greenstein of Middlesex County has said she intends to run; Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula of Somerset County and Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes are among those considering campaigning for the seat Holt has held for nearly two decades.

The district is considered safely Democratic, with 100,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans.

Holt, a 65-year-old physicist, surprised many in the party by announcing he would give up the seat after eight terms. That set off an intraparty scramble that may take awhile to sort out and is likely to result in a June Democratic primary.

Two other New Jersey incumbents in Congress, Reps. Jon Runyan and Rob Andrews, also have announced plans to step down at the end of the current term.