By email today, Ed Potosnak informed supporters of his 2010 & 2012 runs for Congress against GOP incumbent Leonard Lance that he is ending his run for the seat this year. Potosnak had, after congressional redistricting, a clear shot at the Democratic nomination after former Edison mayor Jun Choi was redistricted out of the newly reconfigured 7th CD. Lance benefitted in the newly drawn district, gaining a district more favorable to the Republican. Lance beat Potosnak 59-41% in 2010.
While this is good news for the environmental movement in NJ, it's a loss for both NJ-07 and teachers everywhere. Ed would have been a great congressman, and undoubtedly a great advocate for teachers.
Potosnak will be taking a job as Executive Director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. Before he ran for Congress, Potosnak was a high school chemistry teacher. In 2007, he was selected for the highly competitive Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship, which brought him to Washington, where he used his classroom experience to advise members of Congress on education policy. He received the Einstein fellowship twice, working in the DC office of Congressman Michael M. Honda, who is also a DNC Vice-Chair.
We need more teachers to run for political office; I hope we see educators follow Ed's example and seriously consider mounting campaigns over the next several years.
Best of luck, Ed.