New Jersey: Holt Expresses Interest in Senate Bid

Holt, right, is considering a bid for New Jersey's Senate seat. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Rush D. Holt, D-N.J., indicated Thursday he is interested in running for Senate.

"There's no point in being coy," he told PolitickerNJ. "I've made no secret in previous years that I would consider the Senate at the right time. But an expression of interest should not be taken as a campaign announcement."

Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg said this week he will retire, setting off a flood of aspiring Democrats looking at a run. In addition to Holt, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. indicated he's considering the seat. Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced his exploratory committee two months ago.

Holt has a healthy $769,000 in his campaign account. But that sum pales in comparison to Pallone's $3.4 million. Booker has a national following and therefore immense fundraising potential.

But while the potential field may be large, the New Jersey political world is small. Holt's former chief of staff, Mark Matzen, is Booker's top political consultant.

CQ Roll Call rates this race as Safe Democratic.