Elected to Congress in 1998 in what was seen as a backlash against the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, Democratic U.S. Rep. Rush Holt spent the past 16 years representing central New Jersey in the 12th Congressional District.
One of the only scientists ever elected to Congress, Holt was formerly
the associate director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. He became nationally known when he beat Watson, the IBM computer, in “Jeopardy.” Holt holds a patent for a solar energy device.
In Congress, Holt served on the Committee on Education and the Workforce and Committee on Natural Resources and was known for his work on climate change and investment in education. He also chaired the Select Intelligence Oversight Panel.
After his defeat in last year’s primary election to replace the late Frank Lautenberg in the U.S. Senate, Holt announced his retirement from Congress. His new job is chief executive officer for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In his brief farewell speech to Congress, Holt addressed what he saw as reasons for optimism about the chamber’s workings and its importance to the world.