Three Congressional Seats Open in 2014 Andrews, Holt and Runyan Opt Out
In February, New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt (D-12) announced that he would not be running for re-election in November. Holt’s seat is the third that will be open this year.
Holt’s retirement is a loss for the work being done to end homelessness in New Jersey. In the past, he ranked as the top New Jersey Congressman working with advocates on the issue.
Earlier the same month, fellow Congressman Rob Andrews (D-1) left office to take a position in a Philadelphia law firm. Andrews had been a vocal proponent for the critical need to end sequestration.
And in November 2013, New Jersey Republican Congressman Jon Runyan (R-3) announced that he would not be running for re-election. Runyan had cited his frustration with Congress as playing a part in his decision.
In 2013, Runyan supported legislation in Congress to expand the definition of homeless veterans. The bill would have assured that veterans fleeing domestic violence or another life-threatening condition be eligible for assistance under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
Said Holt in an interview with The New York Times, “he was not bemoaning what he acknowledged was ‘a certain level of dysfunction’ in Congress.
“Congress, even with its frustrations, is the greatest instrument for justice and human welfare in the world,’ he said. ‘The stories trying to puzzle out why someone would do something else are based on this rather narrow way of thinking that the only purpose for a member of Congress is to be re-elected. I’ve never viewed it that way, and I think everybody who’s worked with me knows that I think there are a lot of things that I can and should be doing.’”
It is notable that Congressmen Holt, Andrews and Runyan all supported federal Sandy relief funding for New Jersey and the expansion of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to address Sandy recovery issues.
Click here for the Times coverage of Holt’s announcement.
Click here for Star-Ledger coverage of his announcement.