New Jersey drivers soon will be forced to peel off their "My Congressman IS a Rocket Scientist" bumper stickers, because Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., is retiring from Congress in 2015.
"There is no hidden motive for my decision," Holt said in a released statement Tuesday. "I have never intended to make service in the House my entire career. For a variety of reasons, personal and professional, all of them positive and optimistic, the end of the year seems to me to be the right time to step aside and ask the voters to select the next representative."A former
Princeton physicist, Holt ran for the Senate in 2013 but lost the Democratic primary race against now-Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.
Holt, 65, was elected to Congress in 1998. He is the 19th member of the House and the eighth Democrat to announce a retirement this cycle, according to Roll Call's "Casualty List." His district is a Democratic stronghold and Democrats are expected to easily maintain control of his seat. Holt won 69 percent of the vote in his re-election in 2012.
Holt is a founder of the Congressional Research and Development Caucus. He serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce as well as the House Committee on Natural Resources, where he supported legislation to curtail offshore drilling and curb greenhouse gas emissions.
According to his office's website, Holt has helped secure more than $22 billion for science and technology research. He also lobbied earlier this month for Congress to officially recognize Feb. 12 as "Darwin Day" in remembrance of scientist and evolutionist Charles Darwin.Before heading to Congress, Holt was the assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab.