Voter Guide: New Jersey's 12th Congressional District Race

Rush Holt (D) vs. Scott Sipprelle (R)

The race to represent New Jersey's 12th Congressional District is a contest between Democratic incumbent Rush Holt, a physics expert who is a strong advocate for the environment, and Republican Scott Sipprelle, a venture capitalist making his first run for public office.

Rush Holt (D)

WNYC Coverage of Rush Holt

New Jersey Congressman Wants More Answers on Anthrax Probe (August 5, 2008)

Fast Facts

  • Hometown: Weston, West Virginia
  • Graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota with a BA in physics; received Ph.D. in physics from New York University
  • Elected to Congress in 1998
  • Father was the youngest person ever elected to the Senate; mother was the first woman Secretary of State of West Virginia
  • Former faculty member at Swarthmore College
  • Former Assistant Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory from 1989 to 1997
  • Former Congressional Science Fellow for the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Former arms control expert at the U.S. State Department
  • Holds his own patent for a solar energy device
  • Only Quaker in Congress
  • Five-time winner of Jeopardy


  • Supports financial reform and regulation of Wall Street
  • Supports legislation that makes job training more accessible
  • Wants to reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil by focusing on the development of sustainable energies
  • Supports states' rights to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles
  • Supports the Land and Water Conservation Fund and its State Assistance program, which provides funds to states and communities to preserve open spaces
  • Opposed the war in Iraq and believes that Afghanistan can't achieve stability through military efforts, only through political efforts in a joint effort with our allies
  • Member of the New Democrat Coalition, a group that bills itself as moderate and "pro-growth"

Other Links

Rush Holt's Campaign Site

Scott Sipprelle (R)

Fast Facts

  • Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA
  • Graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Hamilton College with a concentration in Economics and Government
  • Son of diplomats; spent his childhood living overseas, primarily in Latin America and the Middle East
  • Served as an intern in the office of Republican Senator Pete Wilson in California
  • Founder of Westland Ventures, a Princeton-based investment firm
  • Served as the Chairman of the Advisory Board at The Bank of Princeton
  • Had a career as a senior executive in the financial services industry
  • Self-published his novel, The Golden Dog, a mystery set on Wall Street
  • Invested in BlogTalkRadio, Zhena's Gypsy Tea, and the Narragansett Brewing Company


  • Believes that the federal government is hindering the private sector of business
  • Supports tighter immigration enforcement
  • Promises to suspend the capital gains tax on new ventures to help stimulate business
  • Pledges to mandate a zero-percent annual increase in the federal budget until the federal deficit is below 3 percent of the GDP, including funding for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
  • Wants to conduct performance reviews of all discretionary spending programs based on costs and performance relative to goals, and wants to reduce spending of the bottom 10 percent of evaluated programs by 10 percent each year
  • Wants to reduce earmark spending by 20 percent each year

Other Links

Scott Sipprelle's Campaign Site

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