New Jersey's 12th congressional district

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New Jersey's 12th congressional district
New Jersey's 12th congressional district (2013).svg
District map as of 2013
U.S. Representative
  Bonnie Watson Coleman
DEwing Township
  • 93.17% urban
  • 6.83% rural
Population (2000)647,258
Median income$85,595[1]
Cook PVID+16[2]

New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional district is represented by Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman. 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.

Voting trends[edit]

Historically, the 12th and its predecessors had been a swing district. However, redistricting following the United States Census, 2000 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 2002, despite an expensive challenge from former New Jersey Secretary of State Buster Soaries, Holt was re-elected with 61%.

Since then, the 12th has trended into a Democratic-leaning district, as measured by the Cook PVI.[3] 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%).

Holt retired in 2014, and was succeeded by State Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman.

Counties and municipalities in the district[edit]

A change was made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013 with the 113th United States Congress, based on the results of the 2010 United States Census. The district currently contains portions of four counties and 31 municipalities:[4]

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)

Bound Brook, Franklin Township, Manville and South Bound Brook

Union County (3)

Fanwood, Plainfield, Scotch Plains (part, also 7th)


The 12th congressional district (together with the 11th district) was created starting with the 63rd United States Congress in 1913, based on redistricting following the United States Census, 1910.

Recent election results[edit]

Presidential races[edit]

Year Office Results
2000 President Gore 56 - 40%
2004 President Kerry 54 - 46%
2008 President Obama 58 - 41%
2012 President Obama 66.5 - 32%
2016 President H. Clinton 65 - 32%

List of members representing the district[edit]

Member Party Years District Home Electoral history Counties/Towns
District created March 4, 1913
James A. Hamill Democratic March 4, 1913 –
March 3, 1921
Jersey City Redistricted from the 10th district.
[Data unknown/missing.]
parts of Jersey City
Charles F. X. O'Brien (New Jersey Congressman).jpg
Charles F. X. O'Brien
Democratic March 4, 1921 –
March 3, 1925
Jersey City [Data unknown/missing.]
Mary Teresa Norton cph.3b14795.jpg
Mary Teresa Norton
Democratic March 4, 1925 –
March 3, 1933
Jersey City [Data unknown/missing.]
Redistricted to the 13th district.
Frederick R. Lehlbach
Republican March 4, 1933 –
January 3, 1937
Newark Redistricted from the 10th district.
[Data unknown/missing.]
parts of Essex
Frank William Towey Jr. Democratic January 3, 1937 –
January 3, 1939
[Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.]
Robert Kean
Republican January 3, 1939 –
January 3, 1959
Livingston [Data unknown/missing.]
George M. Wallhauser.jpg
George M. Wallhauser
Republican January 3, 1959 –
January 3, 1965
Maplewood [Data unknown/missing.]
Paul J. Krebs.jpg
Paul J. Krebs
Democratic January 3, 1965 –
January 3, 1967
[Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.]
Florence Dwyer.jpg
Florence P. Dwyer
Republican January 3, 1967 –
January 3, 1973
[Data unknown/missing.] Redistricted from the 6th district.
[Data unknown/missing.]
parts of Essex and Union
Matthew J. Rinaldo.jpg
Matthew John Rinaldo
Republican January 3, 1973 –
January 3, 1983
Union Township [Data unknown/missing.]
Redistricted to the 7th district.
parts of Union
Jim Courter.jpg
Jim Courter
Republican January 3, 1983 –
January 3, 1985
Hackettstown Redistricted from the 13th district.
[Data unknown/missing.]
parts of Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren
January 3, 1985 –
January 3, 1991
Hunterdon and parts of Mercer (Princeton and West Windsor), Middlesex,

Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren

Richard Alan Zimmer portrait.gif
Dick Zimmer
Republican January 3, 1991 –
January 3, 1993
Delaware [Data unknown/missing.]
Retired to run for U.S. Senator
January 3, 1993 –
January 3, 1997
parts of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Somerset
Michael James Pappas
Republican January 3, 1997 –
January 3, 1999
Franklin (Somerset) [Data unknown/missing.]
Rep Holt Official Headshot.jpg
Rush D. Holt Jr.
Democratic January 3, 1999 –
January 3, 2003
[Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.]
January 3, 2003 –
January 3, 2013

parts of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Somerset

January 3, 2013 –
January 3, 2015
Mercer (except Hamilton and Robbinsville), Middlesex (Cranbury, Dunellen, East Brunswick, Helmetta, Jamesburg, Middlesex, Milltown, Monroe, North Brunswick, Plainsboro, South Brunswick, South River, and Spotswood), Somerset (Bound Brook, Franklin Township, Manville and South Bound Brook), and Union (Fanwood, Plainfield, and part of Scotch Plains)
Bonnie Watson Coleman.jpg
Bonnie Watson Coleman
Democratic January 3, 2015 –
Ewing [Data unknown/missing.]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Plan Components Report, New Jersey Redistricting Commission, December 23, 2011. Accessed November 6, 2016.

Coordinates: 40°19′25″N 74°32′32″W / 40.323514°N 74.542236°W / 40.323514; -74.542236