Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 45
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
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Slimmest Election Margin Since 2002 Has Holt Busy Deciphering the Message

Ellen Gilbert

“This is a job that really is demanding under the best of circumstances,” said Congressman Rush Holt (D-12) in an interview the day after his re-election for a seventh consecutive term. “With the complicated messages that came from the voters this year, it will be especially hard,” he added.

This year’s “messages” included, most prominently, Mr. Holt’s slimmest margin of victory since 2002. He defeated Republican challenger Scott Sipprelle by 13,836 votes, or about seven percentage points. Mr. Sipprelle received 46 percent of the vote to Mr. Holt’s 53 percent.

“There are a lot of people who are sure they have the answers,” continued Mr. Holt. “For every ten people, there are ten different answers. I’m sure I’ll be spending many weeks trying to decipher the message.”

In addition to Princeton Borough and Princeton Township, the 12th District includes 43 other towns spanning five counties. Mr. Holt and his wife, physician Margaret Lancefield, are residents of Hopewell Township.

Mr. Holt entered politics in 1998 after working nine years as the assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. His father, Rush D. Holt, Sr., served as a United States Senator from West Virginia from 1935 to 1941.

In the wake of a difficult campaign, Mr. Holt thanked his supporters by observing that “together, we did it.”

“We knocked on tens of thousands of doors, put up thousands of lawn signs and made countless phone calls. We talked with family members, friends, neighbors, and complete strangers — we asked them to help us preserve the American Dream for all.”

Noting that “it has been an honor to serve as your representative for over a decade,” Mr. Holt said that he “will return to Congress with the same vigor and purpose that I have maintained for the past 12 years. I will continue fighting to extend opportunity, ensure fairness, and build community.”

Mr. Holt is probably regarding the now-blank “Upcoming Events” page on his re-election website with relief. “The most important point, I believe, is that I’m being returned to Congress because of my record of public service,” said Mr. Holt, his cell phone ringing. The everyday schedule of a Representative, it seems, is never blank.

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