Congressman Dead at 65 After Heart Complications

( Democratic US Congressman Donald Payne Jr. died on April 24 from heart complications, after having spent years dealing with medical issues. Payne, the son of former House lawmaker Donald Payne Sr., represented New Jersey’s 10th congressional district from 2012 until his death.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy honored Payne following news of the lawmaker’s death. Murphy said that Payne embodied the “very best of public service” and called it a great honor to work with him.

US House Speaker Mike Johnson likewise paid tribute to Payne and offered prayers to his family and friends, including the wife and three children he left behind. Payne served on the House Homeland Security Committee and participated in the Congressional Black Caucus.

The caucus said that Payne will be remembered for his kindness and generosity. Payne leaves a legacy that his constituents in New Jersey, and the United States more broadly, will not soon forget, the caucus said.

Murphy’s office has declined to provide information on New Jersey’s plans to hold a special election for Payne’s House seat. Prior to his death, Payne was set to pursue reelection and run unopposed in a June 4 primary.

If Payne secures the nomination despite his death, then New Jersey Democrats could select a replacement to compete for the vacant House seat. Democrats hold a six-to-one advantage in the district.

Payne died after suffering a cardiac event earlier in April. The event was linked to complications from his diabetes, Payne’s office said; at the time of the incident, the office said it expected the lawmaker to make a full recovery. Payne was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator leading up to his death.

As a result of Payne’s death, the number of vacant seats in the House of Representatives rose to six. Republicans hold a narrow 217-212 majority in the House as of this writing.

Given that Payne’s congressional district is a Democratic stronghold, it appears likely that his seat will remain blue come Election Day in November.

Copyright 2024,