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Late congressman's son wins N.J. primary

June 6, 2012 at 12:35 AM   |   Comments

NEWARK, N.J., June 6 (UPI) -- The son of U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., won a six-way primary for his late father's seat Tuesday.

Given the makeup of New Jersey's 10th district, which includes part of Newark and heavily Democratic areas nearby, Donald Payne Jr., now head of the Newark City Council, is almost certain to win in November. He also appeared to have won a special election to serve from November to January, finishing his father's term, The Jersey Journal of Jersey City reported.

The elder Payne died of colon cancer in March at the age of 77. After serving as an Essex County freeholder and Newark councilman, he was elected to Congress in 1988.

Payne is the only black to have represented New Jersey in Congress. In most recent elections, he had only token opposition and in some the Republican Party did not bother to field a candidate.

Newark Councilman Ronald Rice and state Sen. Nia Gill came in second and third Tuesday against the younger Payne. Wayne Smith, the mayor of Irvington, trailed in fourth place.

Brian Kelemen, a Bayonne resident, was the only candidate in the Republican primary.

Topics: Wayne Smith
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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