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  /  News   /  Deceased New Jersey congressman wins primary

Deceased New Jersey congressman wins primary

(The Hill) — The late Rep. Donald Payne Jr., D-N.J., won the Democratic nomination for another term in the House on Tuesday, weeks after he died in office. 

The ballot in New Jersey had already been set by the time Payne succumbed to a heart attack related to complications from diabetes in late April. He was running unopposed in the Democratic primary representing New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District. 

A special election to choose someone to serve the remainder of Payne’s current term was already set. Gov. Phil Murphy set the primary to happen next month and the general election to occur in September, allowing the winner to serve the final few months of the term. 

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As for determining who will serve as the Democratic nominee for the upcoming November general election for the next session of Congress, state law provides that the members of the party county committees in the district decide who to select. 

The county chairs for Essex, Hudson and Union counties, the ones that make up the 10th District, would call a convention for the committee members to meet and choose a candidate. The convention must take place by late August. 

The convention, however, could take place after the special primary, allowing the members to select whoever wins the nomination to fulfill the remainder of the term. But they are not required to choose that person.

Whoever wins the special primary next month and is the convention’s choice for the next term are almost certain to win the general elections in September and November, respectively, in the solid Democratic district. 

Payne had represented the district since 2012, when he succeeded his father, former Rep. Donald Payne Sr., after his own death from colon cancer. The elder Payne was the first Black American to represent New Jersey in Congress.