A few minutes ago, Rep. Rush Holt sent an email to supporters, declaring his intention to run for the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Senator Frank Lautenberg, and asking for both fundraising and petition help. Portions of that email, below, and after the jump. Holt:
This week, New Jersey lost a public servant of the highest caliber – someone whose advocacy touched, improved, and saved countless lives. New Jerseyans knew that, in Senator Frank Lautenberg, they had a true champion who would fight for our shared progressive values.
On Tuesday, Governor Christie announced a special election to fill the vacancy in the U.S. Senate. Today, I ask for your support as I seek to serve as your Senator in that seat. The reason is simple: I believe I am the best candidate to continue the passionate advocacy for progressive values that Sen. Lautenberg exemplified.
Nominating petitions are due to the New Jersey Division of Elections by this Monday afternoon, June 10th, and I ask your help in collecting the signatures to qualify for the ballot.
If you will commit to spending a few hours collecting signatures from friends and neighbors, we will meet this challenge easily and demonstrate the momentum we’ll need to win in August.
As you know, I have never shied away from a tough political fight, and I have never wavered in my commitment to advancing progressive priorities.
As an educator and a scientist, I know that investing in education, research, and infrastructure are the keys to a stronger, more secure middle class. These are the investments that kept the American Dream alive in the 20th century – investments such as the GI Bill, which made it possible for a young Frank Lautenberg to go to college, to build a business, and to join the United States Senate.
But the American Dream, and Sen. Lautenberg’s vision for our country, are under attack in Washington today. They are threatened by a worldview that gives ever-greater privilege to the already fortunate: a dogma that demands lower taxes on the wealthy and fewer protections for consumers while letting Wall Street, Big Oil, and insurance companies run free.
In my 14 years in the U.S. Congress, I have fought back against this destructive ideology and built a record of accomplishment on issues that matter to New Jerseyans. I have helped to increase Pell Grants and student aid for college, invest in research and development, make sure women get equal pay for equal work, improve mental health services for our nation’s veterans, and much more.
We need a United States Senator who will recommit our nation to these progressive values, who will make the investments needed to keep the American Dream alive in the 21st century. This is not a time for easy cynicism; it is a moment to do the hard work to get our nation back to our best ideals.
I will also need your financial support to have the resources to run a competitive campaign. I have always been proud to fund my campaigns through the generous support of many individuals rather than relying on special interests.
I will be in touch again soon, and I welcome your thoughts and feedback as we work together to build a grassroots campaign for a continued progressive voice in the U.S. Senate.