Dead Congressman Wins Democratic Primary

Dead Congressman Wins Democratic Primary

The late Democratic congressman Donald Payne Jr. from New Jersey secured his party’s nomination for another term on Tuesday, despite having passed away six weeks prior at the age of 65.

Payne, who succeeded his late father in representing New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District, had already filed for re-election before he died of a heart attack on April 24, as reported by The Hill.

He was the sole candidate, leaving voters with no alternative when casting their ballots on Tuesday.

New Jersey Democratic Governor Phil Murphy has scheduled a special primary for July 16 and a special general election for September 18 to complete Payne’s term, which concludes in January.

Per The Hill, Democratic Party leaders in Essex, Hudson, and Union counties are required to organize a convention by the end of August to select Payne’s replacement on the November ballot.

Residents in these counties, comprising New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District, will lack representation in the House until at least September.

County leaders might wait to see the special primary election outcome and then nominate that individual for the November ballot, though it is not obligatory, as noted by The Hill.

Donald Payne Sr. served the district in the House from 1989 until he succumbed to colon cancer in March 2012.

Payne Jr. won a special election later that year and continued to serve until his death.

According to CBS News, Payne Jr. was hospitalized on April 6 after a “physical accident.”

His office released a statement indicating that during his hospitalization, he faced “medical complications due to diabetes and high blood pressure that led to subsequent cardiorespiratory arrest.”

“Despite the dedicated efforts of the medical staff to treat him and improve his health, they were unable to prevent his passing unfortunately,” the statement said, as per CBS.

Upon his passing, the progressive, six-term congressman was honored by President Joe Biden and Governor Murphy for his dedication to environmentalism and gun control.

“Don and I worked together throughout his time in Congress, as he fought to expand access to health care, clean drinking water, and cancer screenings; to prevent gun violence, protect voting rights, and promote equal pay for women,” Biden stated.

”He lived his whole life on the same street, committed to the city that so many in his family served.”

Payne was a lifelong resident of Newark.

Murphy remarked that the late congressman “embodied the very best of public service.”

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