Tag Archive: CD10

Good. Better. Best. Why You Should Support Ron Rice for Congress.

I like a lot of people in politics, and sometimes that can make it difficult to choose which candidate to support in a contested primary among friends. But, that’s just not the case in the CD-10 race. Donald Payne might very well make a good Congressman. And, Nia Gill (whose passionate support for marriage equality in particular I will always be grateful for) would be even better. But, for me, Ron C. Rice is the best candidate for Congress in NJ’s 10th District. Plain and simple.

On the issues, Ron is everything progressives look for in a representative. He wants Citizens United overturned, and is a real advocate of strong pay-to-play rules.

And then there are the intanglibles:

– His constituent service reputation is excellent, and he is well-known to be (and often referred to in the media as) an exceptionally hard-worker.

– He has maintained his strong, unwavering support of marriage equality since the very beginning (and from Newark, where it is much harder to do than some other places).

– He has helped to train and raise money for young and first-time progressive local candidates for years. (And me too!)

– And, he is someone who is never ever afraid to stand up against the machine when it’s the right thing to do.

Ron’s commitment to progressive values and good government is why Democracy for America has endorsed him, why labor unions like SEIU and CWA have endorsed him, and why I am very proud to personally endorse Ron Rice as well.

To that end, I helped organize, together w/Betty and Tom Wyka, Rosi Efthim and DFA-NJ a low-dollar ($35) reception in Ron’s honor tomorrow evening at 6p at the Wyka home, One Bennett Ct., Parsippany, NJ 07054. If you agree with me that Ron Rice is the best choice for the 10th District, I hope you’ll join us in supporting him tomorrow night.

Another Way To Make History: An Open Letter to State Senator Nia Gill

Dear Senator Gill:

As someone who stood before the members of Essex for Dean and Passaic for Dean in 2003 and passionately encouraged them to support you in your re-election efforts against Leroy Jones and the Adubato machine, because I believed in your commitment and dedication to the same progressive values that led so many of us to support Howard Dean in 2003 and beyond, I have found your 2012 Congressional campaign puzzling to say the least.  I understand that you would like to make history as our state’s first African-American Congresswoman, but as a State Senator you already have more political power that any Congressperson in our state and for more than a decade you have been a force to be reckoned with in Trenton.

In Washington, DC, which is even more dysfunctional than Trenton, if such a thing is possible, you would be one freshperson Congressperson out of 435 with a dramatically reduced ability to advocate for your issues of concern, reduced further by the fact that you chose to not file to run in the special primary election that would enable the winner of the special general election to take office immediately and have a seniority advantage over every other freshperson Congressperson who wins for the first time this November.

Being the savvy politician that you clearly are, you had to know that this decision would not only negatively impact your ability to have a congressional career that was as historic as being our state’s first African-American Congresswoman, but would also raise serious questions about your credibility as a candidate and the credibility of your candidacy.  I was one of the first people at Blue Jersey to wonder if your candidacy was a decoy, first to keep Sheila Oliver from running and second, to keep Newark Councilman Ron Rice from winning, as you are the only candidate in this race who can compete with him for suburban progressives and your candidacy has clearly prevented numerous organizations from endorsing anyone in this race, because of their divided loyalties between you and Ron.  I hope that I am wrong about this, because if I am ever proven right, it will be the single greatest disappointment that I have experienced since becoming involved in NJ politics and I have experienced far more than my fair share.

Even with the party line in Hudson County, it is far more likely that your efforts will serve to elect Donald Payne Jr., who is barely running a serious campaign, because he believes that the party line in Essex County and your divisive candidacy, will be enough to enable him to defeat Ron Rice, than it will enable you to make history this June and November.

What is most confusing and frustrating about this situation is that in 2005, you were on a short list to replace Jon Corzine in the United States Senate and in my opinion, you would have a better chance of beating Cory Booker, Steve Sweeney, and anyone else who is considering a Senate run in 2014 either to replace the retiring incumbent, Senator Frank Lautenberg, or challenge him if he decides to run for re-election than you do to win the primary election in CD10 this year.  I simply do not believe that enough women in the district will vote for you simply because you are the lone woman in the race to overcome Payne’s organizational advantage and Rice’s grassroots advantage.

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.  

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.