New Jersey's 12th congressional district

"NJ-12" redirects here. NJ-12 may also refer to New Jersey Route 12.
New Jersey's 12th congressional district

District map as of 2013
Current Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (D)
  • 93.17% urban
  • 6.83% rural
Population (2000) 647,258
Median income 69,668
Cook PVI D+14

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, The College of New Jersey, Institute for Advanced Study, Johnson & Johnson and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The district from 2003 to 2013

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%, and Republicans have mostly lost interest in the district.

Since then, the 12th has been reckoned as a Democratic-leaning district, as measured by the Cook PVI.[1] 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

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:[2]

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

Presidential races

Year District winner Margin
2000 Al Gore 56–40%
2004 John Kerry 54–46%
2008 Barack Obama 58–41%


Representative Party Years District home Note
District created March 4, 1913
James A. Hamill Democratic March 4, 1913 – March 3, 1921 redistricted from the 10th district
Charles F. X. O'Brien Democratic March 4, 1921 – March 3, 1925
Mary Teresa Norton Democratic March 4, 1925 – March 3, 1933 redistricted to the 13th district
Frederick R. Lehlbach Republican March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1937 redistricted from the 10th district
Frank William Towey Jr. Democratic January 3, 1937 – January 3, 1939
Robert Kean Republican January 3, 1939 – January 3, 1959
George M. Wallhauser Republican January 3, 1959 – January 3, 1965
Paul J. Krebs Democratic January 3, 1965 – January 3, 1967
Florence P. Dwyer Republican January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1973 redistricted from the 6th district
Matthew John Rinaldo Republican January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1983 redistricted to the 7th district
Jim Courter Republican January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1991 redistricted from the 13th district
Dick Zimmer Republican January 3, 1991 – January 3, 1997
Michael James Pappas Republican January 3, 1997 – January 3, 1999
Rush D. Holt Jr. Democratic January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2015
Bonnie Watson Coleman Democratic January 3, 2015 –


  1. 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.
  2. 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

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