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New Jersey sets special election to fill Rep. Donald Payne’s House seat following death

A primary election has been scheduled for July 16 to begin the process of filling a Newark-based U.S. House seat left empty following the death of Rep. Donald Payne Jr. from a heart attack last month.

The primary date was announced Friday by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, and will determine who will fill Payne’s role until January 2025 when his current term ends. A Sept. 18 general election will decide who takes the seat after that.

Payne died on April 24 after suffering “medical complications due to diabetes and high blood pressure that led to subsequent cardiorespiratory arrest,” his office announced at the time.

He had originally been hospitalized on April 6, after experiencing “a physical accident” at his home, the release said.

The six-term New Jersey Democrat had already filed to run for reelection prior to his passing, and is now set to appear uncontested on a June 4 primary ballot. If Payne secures his party’s nomination, Democratic Party committee members will be able to select another candidate to run in his place for the November general election.

The majority-Black district Payne represented has leaned heavily Democratic, with registered Republicans being outnumbered by more than 6 to 1.

Payne had served the district since 2012, succeeding his late father, Rep. Donald Payne Sr., who became New Jersey’s first African-American representative in 1988 and held the seat for two decades before also dying while in office — losing a battle to colon cancer.

With News Wire Services


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