Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

New Jersey: Donald Payne Jr. Plans Run for Late Father’s Seat

The son of the late Rep. Donald Payne is running for his father’s seat in Congress, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

“I’ve had discussions with the chairman in Essex County and I’ve told him my intention to run,” Newark City Council President Donald Payne Jr. told the paper. “I have petitions out.”

Obtaining the backing of the Essex County Democratic Committee is crucial to winning this race.

Newark Councilman Ron Rice had already planned to run against Donald Payne Sr., and he will continue that campaign for the open seat.

State Sen. Nia Gill has also said she will run to succeed Payne, per the Star-Ledger. State Speaker Sheila Oliver is also an oft-mentioned possible contender. There is concern, though, that if she were to leave the state Legislature, a shift in the balance of power between North and South New Jersey would not favor Essex County.

There have been no updates on the status of a special election, according to the New Jersey secretary of state’s office. While there is a provision in the state constitution allowing for a special election, New Jersey tradition has dictated that the special election is held in conjunction with the state’s scheduled primary and general elections. A candidate’s name appears twice on the ballot, once for the special election and again in the contest for a full term.

The winner of the Democratic primary will almost certainly be the winner of the general election. The primary will be June 5.

The Congressman, who had been diagnosed with colon cancer, passed away March 6.

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