Donald Payne Jr. is on track to succeed his late father in Congress. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)
Newark City Council President Donald Payne Jr. easily won today’s Democratic primary to replace his father, the late Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.), and will likely become the district’s next Member of Congress in November.
Payne was well out in front in both the regularly scheduled and special election primaries that were held concurrently today. With 79 percent of precincts reporting, he took 60 percent of the vote, while Newark Councilman Ron Rice Jr. and state Sen. Nia Gill followed with 20 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
Payne began the race as the prohibitive frontrunner because of his name identification and establishment support, and he never lost that position.
Payne will appear on the ballot twice on Election Day in November. One contest will be to fill out the remainder of his father’s term this Congress and the other will be for the full two-year term that begins in January 2013. This is a heavily Democratic district, and he should be able to hold this seat for as long as he wants it.