Tag Archive: NJ-10

CD10: Donald Payne Jr. thinks marriage equality needs “more study”

In an interview to be broadcast tonight, Donald Payne Jr., son of the late congressman and candidate for the CD10 Democratic nomination makes a pretty vanilla, non-statement statement when host Mike Schneider asks him about President Obama’s landmark endorsement of marriage equality yesterday.

Payne was interviewed for NJToday, which you can see at 6, 7:30 and 11pm tonight on NJTV. Here’s what Schneider says about Payne’s answer:

Payne said he is a strong supporter of Obama, but he wasn’t prepared to say he supports same-sex marriage, as Obama announced Wednesday. “We’re looking at it,” Payne said. “As I said I’ve been a supporter of equal rights for all people and I don’t see where that would be much of a problem moving forward.”

In a tweet today, Schneider said Payne thinks the issue requires “more study.”

More study? I hope his position changes, but I’d say for right now we wouldn’t be able to count on him as a voice in Congress for marriage equality.  

CD10: Democracy for America (DFA) Endorses Ron C. Rice for Congress

Jeff Gardner and I, representing DFA-NJ, are so proud, inspired and energized by Ron, who was in 2006 the first candidate from NJ that DFA ever endorsed nationally. What a joy to be able to participate with Jim Dean now in Ron Rice’s national DFA endorsement for Congress. – promoted by Rosi

Ron Rice Web Photos
There’s an old saying in politics that goes something like this: “Politics isn’t hard, it’s just hard work.” I know many people that would disagree with that statement with the way Congress has been behaving lately.  But no one can say it’s only hard work when it comes to Newark City Councilman Ron C. Rice who is running for Congress in New Jersey’s 10th district. Take it from me, this guy has lived, breathed and fought for his constituents since he’s held public office. Democracy For America

There is no doubt in my mind of the challenges Ron has had to face or the challenges that will follow but Ron isn’t afraid. Ron isn’t afraid to take responsibility when things get difficult. He isn’t afraid when things get tough. Instead of walking away, you better believe he’s digging in and finding solutions.  There are many reasons why it’s such a privilege for Democracy for America to endorse Ron for Congress. But most importantly the US House of Representatives needs someone like Ron. With him, New Jersey has a strong candidate of leadership, integrity and work ethic – exactly what New Jersey wants and needs in a candidate to represent them in D.C..

As Ron has learned from and been inspired by community activism, we have seen him help, train and inspire progressive activists and candidates, including alongside us in DFA trainings. He also helps progressive candidates and community organizations raise money.  

DFA is proud to endorse Ron for Congress. Frankly, it was a no-brainer on our part the minute we found out that he was running for NJ-10. This is an opportunity for all of us to get a “get-it-done” Representative in Congress.

Are you upset about health care? Mad about Citizens United? Angered to see D.C. leaders who told us they were progressive selling out their communities in the halls of Congress? Ron has seen all of this and more.  But instead of giving up he’s continued to fight for what’s right and defend the people who need it most – his constituents in New Jersey. Please check out his campaign and please support what Ron C. Rice is doing so that all of us around the country – and especially in New Jersey – can believe again.  

A Primary? What Do We Do?

It has taken me two full weeks to write this diary. Forgive me if it wasn’t worth the wait.

In 2008, New Jersey democrats got to participate in the historic Presidential Primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The energy and excitement that primary created was extraordinary, and belied all the usual complaints about how terrible primaries are for the party. Still, it’s been over 6 years since I wrote Primaries Benefit Democracy (and don’t hurt candidates), and our 2008 experience did little to change the general consensus that primaries are bad, bad, bad. While primaries may be legal, in New Jersey they remain politically unsafe and rare.

But, a funny thing happened on the way to Presidential-Primary-free 2012: suddenly, we’ve got a bunch of primaries! Each with unique circumstances, but all competitive affairs that beg the question: with so little experience engaging in primaries, do progressives even know what to do when we have them?

This June 5th, courtesy of redistricting, the Democratic Party will be experiencing the unusual: multiple competitive primaries. In many cases, the primary will have the effect of determining who will ultimately be elected in November. From CD-9 to CD-10 to the special election in LD-16, and some others, democrats have the rare opportunity to actually choose from among ourselves who we want to serve.

Sure, it’s easy when there’s a bad guy involved, or a crook. We can just support the good guy/gal. No problem! But, what happens when there are multiple “good guys” (and women) running? Primaries are so very rare in our party, some democrats and many progressives would rather sit it out, and just focus on November.

I think that’s a mistake. And here’s why.

Congressional District 10 Landscape

Speculation on who will succeed Representative Donald Payne, who died March 6, might best be delayed until after he is laid to rest on Wednesday, after which individuals will feel free to announce they are candidates, not candidates or maybe candidates. Nonetheless, the landscape has changed from 1988 when Representative Payne was first elected. At that time he had previously run against the incumbent Rep. Peter Rodino twice. Rodino after 40 years in office finally announced in 1988 he would not run again. Although fellow Municipal Councilman Ralph T. Grant contested Payne in the primary, there was no doubt that the successor would be the respected and well-regarded Donald Payne. He won with 77% of the votes and maintained a high voting record, sometimes unopposed, throughout his tenure. This time there is no one individual held in such high esteem nor considered as such an obvious choice. Also the map of this district over the successive years has changed but the population remains over 70% non-white with Newark as its largest city.  

Our crazy-quilt redistricting process yields a map for the 2012 CD elections with 57% of its population in Essex County, 23% in Hudson County, and 20% in Union County. It includes much of Essex County with much of Newark (153,337), part of Hudson with much of Jersey City (135,919) and part of Union County with part of Union (25,031). The historic home of this seat is Newark and the power center more broadly is Essex County, but Hudson County (particularly Jersey City) and Union represent 43% of the electorate.

By law the governor can appoint a temporary Senator when a vacancy occurs, but not a temporary Representative, so the office will remain vacant until a successor is elected. In the meantime staff continue routine activities. The governor is required to initiate a special election, and he could hold it earlier than the normal November 3 date, but such appears unlikely.

Voters in Elizabeth, which is in the current CD but not the new redistricted one, will have an opportunity to vote along with other current CD members in November for the remaining part of Rep. Payne’s term of office from November through early January. Those in the new CD will vote separately for the period that encompasses a new term from January 2013 through January 2015. There will also be a primary in June. Altogether this will be a confusing process for voters, made more so by the lack of an heir apparent. One prediction that can be made with virtual certainty is that a Democrat will win in this largely Democratic district.


Blue Jersey, there will be a chance to pay your respect to the late Rep. Donald Payne

220px-Donald_Payne,_Official_Portrait,_c122th_CongressThe first African-American member of the U.S. Congress in its history – the only one the state has ever sent – will lie in state next week in Newark before a funeral Wednesday expected to draw thousands from around the world.

How you can go:

Rep. Payne will lie in state:

Monday 1 p.m. – Tuesday 8 a.m.

Historic Essex County Courthouse

470 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., Newark

Open to the public

Tuesday 4-9 p.m.

Metropolitan Baptist Church

149 Springfield Avenue, Newark

Open to the public


Wednesday 11 a.m.

Metropolitan Baptist Church

Rev. David Jefferson officiating, Payne family pastor Rev. Tony Jackson giving a eulogy.

Rep. Donald Payne 1934-2012

220px-Donald_Payne,_Official_Portrait,_c122th_CongressNew Jersey’s first African-American member of Congress has died of colon cancer at the age of 77. We wish his family and close friends, and the thousands of people he has represented in Congress for 23 years our greatest sympathies.

The congressman was flown home from Washington several days ago by medical transport after announcing just weeks earlier that he was being treated for colon cancer. Colleagues had already noticed a weight loss, but Payne said publicly that he intended to serve out his term and was not expecting to step down.

Payne has been in hospice care for several days, after being hospitalized in Washington, then flown back in a special medically-equipped plane to Teterboro Airport, then transferred to Barnabas Medical Center.

Payne was the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health in House Foreign Affairs, and had traveled many times to Africa. He also served on subcommittees on early childhood, elementary and secondary education and in workforce protections. He was a member of both the Congressional Black Caucus & Congressional Human Rights Caucus.

The Paynes are a legacy family in Essex County Democratic politics. His son, Donald M. Payne, Jr., is current Council President in Newark and an Essex County Freeholder. His brother, William served in the NJ Assembly from 1998 to 2008, and his nephew, Craig A. Stanley, served 12 years in the Assembly starting 1996.

When we know the Congressman’s memorial details, we will share them here.  

Donald Payne flown home on medical transport plane

220px-Donald_Payne,_Official_Portrait,_c122th_CongressRep. Donald Payne was flown home to Newark this morning via medical transport plane, according to his son Newark Council President Donald Payne, Jr.. Star-Ledger quotes his son:

“We’re still a bit optimistic, but I mean you know it is what it is. It’s cancer.”

The NJ-10 congressman, 77, is being treated for colon cancer, which he made public in January. He has said he has no plans to step down or take a leave of absence and wants to retain his seat.

We wish the congressman the best outcome possible, and the peace and quiet he may need to fight his illness.  

Rep. Donald Payne has colon cancer

220px-Donald_Payne,_Official_Portrait,_c122th_CongressPer AP and a statement emailed out tonight to press, Rep. Donald Payne is acknowledging that he is undergoing treatment for colon cancer.

We wish the congressman well, and hope for his recovery.

From his statement:

“I wish to inform my constituents of the 10th Congressional District of New Jersey, my colleagues in the United States Congress, and my many friends as well as supporters that I am under the care of an outstanding medical team for the treatment of colon cancer. They expect my full recovery, as do I.”

Newark West Ward Councilman Ron C. Rice has been considering entering the race, but he has not yet formally announced. Last night, Rice was in Washington, D.C. for a fundraising event for the Ron C. Rice Congressional Exploratory Committee. Payne is up for re-election this year, and his statement does not say if he intends to run again. Payne first came to Congress in 1989.  

NJ-10: Ron Rice Issues a Challenge

Newark West Ward councilman Ron C. Rice makes it official with the release of the video below on his website, issuing a primary challenge to Rep. Donald Payne – first African-American ever elected to Congress from New Jersey – for the seat that’s been his since 1989. Payne is 77.

Our Congress is broken. We need new ideas and new leadership to finally tackle age-old problems that have persisted in our nation for far too long. I’m asking for your support.

                                                             Ron C. Rice (video)

Unlike the northland’s other congressional primary contest, Rothman v. Pascrell, this is not the clash of resentful equals and titans that race has apparently gelled into. This is different, the challenge of a young man making waves across generations to an older man in a 22-year incumbency. Donald Payne has a progressive voting record, Ron Rice is a progressive man. That, among other things, will make this an interesting race. Note: Rice’s website still lists his as an Exploratory Committee.

More below the fold.