The 12th District, which includes Princeton, Trenton, and other Mercer municipalities, as well as parts of Middlesex, Somerset, and Union counties, is the third in New Jersey without an incumbent running, due to the retirement of Democratic Rep. Rush Holt.
State Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman won a contentious Democratic primary. The Republican is Alieta Eck, who was unsuccessful in a bid for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination last year. There are also five independents on the ballot: Allen J. Cannon, of the Democratic-Republican Party; Kenneth J. Cody, whose slogan is "Truth Vision Hope;" Don Dezarn, of the Legalize Marijuana Party; Jack Freudenheim, running under the slogan "Start the Conversation," and Steven Welzer, of the Green Party.
Once a competitive district, today the 12th leans heavily blue: 37 percent of District 12’s voters are registered Democrats while only 14.2 percent are Republicans.