|New Jersey's 12th congressional district|
District map as of 2013
New Jersey's 12th congressional district is represented by Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman, who has served in Congress since 2015. The district is known for its research centers and educational institutions such as Princeton University, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, Institute for Advanced Study, Johnson & Johnson and Bristol-Myers Squibb. The district is primarily suburban in character, though it contains the state capital of Trenton as well as the smaller city of Plainfield.
Historically, the 12th and its predecessors had been a swing district. However, redistricting following the 2000 United States Census gave the district a somewhat bluer hue than its predecessor. It absorbed most of Trenton, along with a number of other municipalities.
The redistricting made second-term Democrat Rush D. Holt Jr. considerably more secure; he had narrowly defeated freshman Republican Michael Pappas in 1998, and had only held on to his seat against Dick Zimmer (who represented the district from 1991 to 1997) by 651 votes in 2000. In 2002, despite an expensive challenge from former New Jersey Secretary of State Buster Soaries, Holt was re-elected with 61% of the vote.
Since then, the 12th has become a Democratic-leaning district, as measured by the Cook PVI. In 2004, Holt was re-elected over real estate executive Bill Spadea (59–41%) and again in 2006 over former Helmetta Council President Joseph Sinagra (65–35%).
In 2008, Holt defeated Holmdel Township Deputy Mayor Alan Bateman (62–36%).
In 2010, while Democrats suffered huge House loses, Holt defeated Princeton venture capitalist Scott Sipprelle and Independent Kenneth J. Cody (53–46–1%).
The district became even more Democratic after redistricting following the 2010 census, as it lost its share of Republican-leaning Hunterdon County and Monmouth County, while being pushed further into strongly Democratic Middlesex County and gaining the overwhelmingly Democratic Union County town of Plainfield.
Holt retired in 2014, and was succeeded by State Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman.
Counties and municipalities in the district
Mercer County (10)
- East Windsor Township, Ewing Township, Hightstown, Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Township, Lawrence Township, Pennington, Princeton, Trenton and West Windsor Township
Middlesex County (14)
- Cranbury Township, Dunellen, East Brunswick Township, Helmetta, Jamesburg, Middlesex, Milltown, Monroe Township, North Brunswick Township, Old Bridge Township (part, also 6th), Plainsboro Township, South Brunswick Township, South River Borough, and Spotswood Borough
Somerset County (4)
Union County (3)
Recent election results
|2000||President||Gore 56 - 40%|
|2004||President||Kerry 54 - 46%|
|2008||President||Obama 58 - 41%|
|2012||President||Obama 66.5 - 32%|
|2016||President||Clinton 65 - 32%|
List of members representing the district
- "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
- Barone, Michael; Richard E. Cohen (2008). The Almanac of American Politics. Washington, D.C.: National Journal Group and Atlantic Media Company. pp. 14, 1084. ISBN 978-0-89234-117-7.
- Plan Components Report, New Jersey Redistricting Commission, December 23, 2011. Accessed November 6, 2016.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present