Eck will run to challenge Holt for House seat

Alieta Eck
Alieta Eck
Posted: January 04, 2014

Alieta Eck, the Somerset County doctor who ran unsuccessfully for New Jersey's vacant U.S. Senate seat last summer, is running for Congress in 2014.

Eck, who had not sought elected office before the Senate race, lost the August Republican primary to Steve Lonegan. Cory Booker, the former mayor of Newark, won the general election in October.

"I'm building on the momentum I gained in the Senate race," Eck said this week. "The people of New Jersey are looking for something different. They're looking for a smarter, more efficient government."

Eck's plans were first reported by PolitickerNJ.com. She had set up an exploratory committee and now says she will formally announce her candidacy next week.

If Eck, 62, wins the Republican nomination in the 12th District, she would challenge Rep. Rush Holt, 65, who has held the seat since 1999. He also ran in the special Senate election, losing in the Democratic primary.

"The election is still nearly a year away, so Rep. Holt's focus remains very much on his work in Congress and on serving his constituents in New Jersey," said Chris Gaston, Holt's chief of staff. "A campaign announcement will come later in the year."

The district covers parts of Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset, and Union Counties.

Eck, who runs a medical practice and founded a free clinic for low-income people and the uninsured, said she would bring her "expertise on health care to Washington."

She wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That's a stark contrast with Holt, who during the Senate race campaigned as the "true progressive" and championed a single-payer system.


aseidman@phillynews.com

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@AndrewSeidman

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