Our coverage of New Jersey's primary next Tuesday, in which one Senator and all twelve members of the House of Representatives will be elected, continues with candidates for House of Representatives in Legislative District 12. For other coverage see the index here, which will be expanded as articles are added.
District 12 is comprised of northern Mercer County including Trenton, most of Middlesex County, and the southeastern edge of Somerset County.
Democrat Rush Holt, incumbent since 1998, is retiring this year, after having lost a special primary bid for the Senate seat grabbed last year by Cory Booker.
A familiar name appears here, as Dr. Alieta Eck is the only Republican in the primary. She was in the running last year for that same Senate seat, losing in the primary to Steve Lonegan.
Meanwhile, the Democratic primary is crowded with hopefuls to replace the brilliant and progressivist Holt.
Bonnie Watson Coleman is a member of the New Jersey State Assembly and previously worked in various administrative positions. She has the endorsement of several unions. Education is her top priority issue, and she has experience on the Assembly Education Committee. She supports the LGBT agenda, and a shift away from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources as part of a strong environmental policy. On immigration, she supports the DREAM Act. She strongly favors women's rights, is pro-choice, and wants stronger restrictions on guns.
Upendra Chivukula is Deputy Speaker of the Assembly. Born in India, he obtained a Masters in Electrical Engineering in New York, and believes that the Republican party's objective is to keep the lower classes from escaping poverty. He wants to tax the rich to support the poor, and to invest in education. He would also raise Social Security taxes on the wealthy to enable the system to support itself in the long term, and work toward a single-payer healthcare system. He also supports the LGBT agenda.
State Senator Linda Greenstein hopes to protect Obamacare, along with Medicare and Social Security. She accuses the Tea Party of launching a "War on Women", and Governor Christie of being involved in a similar battle. She declares herself progressive in this area, defending women's "reproductive health". She supports the LGBT agenda, and an increased minimum wage. She admits the immigration system is broken, but thinks that a path to citizenship needs to be created for illegals. She is pro-environment and favors green energy, and favors tighter gun restrictions. She is pro-Israel.
Finally, Andrew Zwicker might in some ways be seen as Holt's heir apparent--he is also a Princeton scientist, in their Plasma Physics Laboratory, and characterizes himself as progressive. He has worked successfully for education funding without being in politics. According to his policy hopes, investment in research will drive jobs in the economy, clean energy is essential to rein in climate change, undocumented workers need a path to citizenship, abortion is a constitutional right, guns should be more limited, Obamacare is a step in the right direction on which we can improve, the NSA's use of technology needs to be controlled, and the Internet needs to remain open to all.
Vote on Tuesday; we will bring more news as it becomes available.