'Jeopardy' winner to retire from Congress
February 18th, 2014
02:35 PM ET
10 months ago

'Jeopardy' winner to retire from Congress

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Rush Holt, an eight-term Democrat from New Jersey, nuclear physicist, and five-time "Jeopardy" winner, announced Tuesday that he'll retire at the end of the year rather than run for re-election in November.

"There is no hidden motive for my decision. As friends who have worked with me know, I have never thought that the primary purpose of my work was re-election and 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 this year seems to me to be the right time to step aside and ask the voters to select the next representative," said Holt in a statement on Facebook.

Holt represents New Jersey's 12th Congressional District, which stretches from the Delaware River and Trenton north and east through Princeton to New Brunswick, South River, Plainfield and Scotch Plains.

The district is solidly Democratic. Holt won 69% of the vote in his 2012 re-election, and President Barack Obama carried two-thirds of the vote in the district in his re-election.

Holt becomes the third member of the Garden State's House delegation to announce their retirement, joining fellow Democrat Rob Andrews, and Republican Jon Runyan.

Holt is the son of former Sen. Rush D. Holt of West Virginia, who at 29 became the youngest person ever elected to the U.S. Senate. His mother was the first woman to serve as West Virginia secretary of state.

Holt made his own run for the Senate last year, losing in the primary to Newark Mayor Cory Booker in a special election to fill the term of the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Booker won the general election.

For those who don't closely follow politics, Holt may be best known for beating an IBM computer known as Watson on Jeopardy in 2011.

CNN's Deirdre Walsh and Leigh Ann Caldwell contributed to this report


Filed under: 2014 • House • House of Representatives • New Jersey
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    The district is solidly Democratic. Holt won 69% of the vote in his 2012 re-election, and President Barack Obama carried two-thirds of the vote in the district in his re-election.
    --------------------------------------
    Good luck trying to snatch this seat up republicans.

    February 18, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Wasn't Tom DeLay on "Jeopardy" ?

    Oh , he was on Dancing with the Stars , or how i had my case dismissed in Texas .

    February 18, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. bill

    dutch thanks for the good luck wishes. BTW you want to know where your 24 billion is? check the intrest on the debt.

    February 18, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. The Elephant in the Room

    Significant minority poplation in many of the towns that comprise this Congressional district. America should be suurprised if the replacement candidate pool excludes latino[s] AND blacks [s].

    In the wake of Zimmerman and Dunn, its clear people of color cant count on honor, deciency, and a moral compass from the CURRENT MAJORITY to result in just outcomes. One other alternative is to be as delusional and corrupt as they are when we are the majority. Then we subject they to a twisted justice system and "self defense" laws.

    February 18, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    Thomas
    Wasn't Tom DeLay on "Jeopardy" ?
    ----------------------------
    I'll take "Political Corruption" for $1000 Alex.

    February 18, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. just asking

    so the democrat with all the answers decides to pack it in. i guess he couldn't come up with the answer to the question, 'how can you fix a train wreck in progress?"!! or maybe he did... leave.

    February 18, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    -just asking

    so the democrat with all the answers decides to pack it in. i guess he couldn't come up with the answer to the question, 'how can you fix a train wreck in progress?"!! or maybe he did... leave.
    ********************
    Certainly we can't rely on a Republican to answer anything on problem solving , especially how they can win short of a coup.

    February 18, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    @bill: "dutch thanks for the good luck wishes. BTW you want to know where your 24 billion is? check the intrest on the debt."

    So you're saying that since we have debt, it was OK for the tea bags to add to it by shutting down the government? Talk about rationalization!

    February 18, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    @just asking: "so the democrat with all the answers decides to pack it in. i guess he couldn't come up with the answer to the question, 'how can you fix a train wreck in progress?"!! or maybe he did... leave."

    21 repubs (and 12 Democrats) in the House are not seeking reelection; guess the repubs don't want to be around when folks figure out THEY are the ones responsible for the government shutdown, do nothing except obstruct and owe their allegiance to a few monied interests who threaten to primary them if they fall out of lockstep with their rigid, failed ideology.

    February 18, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. salty dog

    I believe the train wreck was on your watch retard. Are you suggesting we were better off under bush, where exactly have you been, and what are you drinking?

    February 18, 2014 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |