(Photo Credit: Martin Falbisoner, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)

Rep. Donald Payne Dead at 65

Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark), a progressive congressman from New Jersey has now reportedly passed away.

He served six terms and was known for his strong commitment to social justice and serving his constituents. His age was 65.

Payne experienced a myocardial infarction on April 6 and has remained in an unconscious state while being supported by a ventilator at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.

In recent years, he had a succession of health problems, such as diabetes, hypertension, and kidney complications necessitating frequent dialysis.

He faced no opposition in the Democratic primary.

Payne’s father, Representative Donald Payne Sr. (D-Newark), was a pioneering figure in New Jersey politics.

Upon his election to Congress in 1988, he achieved the distinction of being New Jersey’s inaugural African American representative.

He secured this victory by winning an open seat after two unsuccessful attempts in the Democratic primary against Rep. Peter W. Rodino (D-Newark) in a district with a Black majority.

After his father passed away from colon cancer in March 2012 at the age of 77, Payne decided to run for the U.S. House of Representatives. He successfully won a challenging primary election in New Jersey’s 10th district.

As a Democrat, Payne aligned with the preferences of progressive voters by endorsing policies such as Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, Racial Justice, Equal Rights for all, Reproductive Freedom, public transportation, and free college tuition.

During a period of Democratic control, Payne assumed the role of chairman for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

Prior to this, he served as the chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.

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