Hunterdon County Commissioner Matt Holt is resigning on May 1 and will be moving out of the county, setting up a November 2022 special election to fill the remaining two years of his term.
Holt is the grandson of Clifford P. Case, who represented New Jersey in the United States Senate for 24 years.
The leading candidate to replace Holt is Raritan Township Committeeman Jeff Kuhl, whose late father was the longtime Hunterdon County GOP Chairman.
“My service to the people of Hunterdon County over the years has been a labor of love,” Holt said. “A while ago, Megan and I purchased property outside of New Jersey, initially as a vacation home to visit from time to time. Having retired from a 45-year work career earlier this year, and after taking an extended vacation at that home, we have decided to spend much more time there than initially planned.”
Since the filing deadline for the June primary passed last week, it will be up to county committee members of both parties to pick their candidate for a November 2022 special election to fill Holt’s seat.
Holt’s departure puts three seats up in the next election, creating a control election. But Democrats have not held a countywide office in Hunterdon since Benjamin Kirkland, lost his bid for a fourth term to Henning Holmgaard in 1982.
“Over the course of the last 29 years, Matt Holt has been the exemplification of a public servant,” said Alexandria Mayor Gabe Plumer, the Hunterdon GOP chairman. “He has fought tirelessly for the people of Hunterdon County, particularly on initiatives for economic development, preservation of open space, and the elimination of all county debt. As a result of the work done by Commissioner Holt and his colleagues on the Board, Hunterdon County has been named one of the safest, healthiest, and best places to live in the entire country.:
Holt was first elected in 2006 and was re-elected to a sixth term in 2021. He is a former chairman of the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, and the senior member of the Board of Commissioners.
“I believe the effects of that work will be felt in a positive way for years long after my departure am gone. Every Board seat has changed once and some twice since my joining the Board,” Holt stated. “And yet, we have continued to work as a team, to never lose sight of the goal of proving that government can be run more efficiently, planning longer term, and with less tax dollars.”
Plumer praised Holt as an honorable public servant.
On a personal note, when I first sought elected office, Commissioner Holt was one of the first people to reach out to me, frequently and humbly offering his counsel,” he said. “I know he has done this for countless other individuals in our county. By the example Commissioner Holt set on the Board, as well as his fostering of deep relationships with elected officials and citizens throughout the county, Matt Holt has helped mold a Hunterdon County Republican Brand that has become a symbol for good governance.”