Candidate’s counter to Booker: Elect a rocket scientist for NJ Senate

New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt.
New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt.
Ed Andrieski/AP

Democratic Rep. Rush Holt is hoping New Jersey voters may be wooed by a nerd over a rising star in the New Jersey Senate race.

That’s the 14-year congressional veteran’s tack, with the Ph.D. and bona fide rocket scientist touting his smarts in his introductory video, and taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s accolades as the two compete in the August Democratic primary for the New Jersey Senate special election to succeed the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

“”I’m Rush Holt. And I’ll be the first to admit – I’m no Cory Booker,” Holt says in the two minute web video released Wednesday. “I don’t have a million Twitter followers, I’ve never run into a burning building, and I’m not friends with Mark Zuckerberg, though I did like him on Facebook.”

In a Quinnipiac University poll earlier this month, Booker took 53% of the vote, compared to Holt’s 10% and Rep. Frank Pallone’s 9%. New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver is also running.

But, Holt did have his own Hollywood moment—beating supercomputer “Watson” in 2011 on Jeopardy!

“I’m a teacher, a scientist, and my most famous moment was beating the computer in Jeopardy!”

Standing in a classroom, Holt doesn’t just play up his brainy background, but also also touts his progressive record on increased math and science education funding, climate change, increased gun background checks, and right to work laws.

“I’m going to beat Cory Booker and win this campaign the same way I beat Watson in Jeopardy–one answer at a time,” said Holt.

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Candidate's counter to Booker: Elect a rocket scientist for NJ Senate