Donald Payne Jr.

Donald M. Payne Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 10th district
Assumed office
November 6, 2012
Preceded by Donald M. Payne
Newark Municipal Councilman of the At-Large District
In office
July 1, 2006  November 6, 2012
Essex County Freeholder At-Large
In office
January 1, 2006  November 6, 2012
Personal details
Born Donald Milford Payne Jr.
(1958-12-17) December 17, 1958[1]
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Beatrice
Children Donald III, Jack, and Yvonne
Residence Newark, New Jersey
Alma mater Kean University (did not graduate)

Donald Milford Payne Jr. (born December 17, 1958)[2] is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 10th congressional district since 2012. Payne, a member of the Democratic Party, served as president of the Newark, New Jersey city council from 2010 to 2012.[3]

Following the death of his father, U.S. Representative Donald M. Payne, in March 2012, Payne ran to succeed his father in Congress. He won the Democratic primary election on June 5, 2012, which is tantamount to election in the heavily Democratic district,[4] and won the general election on November 6, 2012. Prior to all that, he won a special election to fill the seat for the remainder of his father's term.[5]

Early life, education, and early career

Payne was born and raised with his two sisters Wanda and Nicole in Newark, New Jersey.[6] His father Donald M. Payne, served in the United States House of Representatives from 1989 until his death in 2012; he was the first African-American to represent the state of New Jersey in Congress.[7] His mother Hazel Payne (née Johnson), died in 1963 when Payne was 5 years old.[8] As a teenager, Payne was the founder and first President of the Newark South Ward Junior Democrats. He went on to study graphic arts at Kean University. He was an adviser at the YMCA Youth in Government Program.

He worked for the New Jersey Highway Authority from 1991 until he joined the Essex County Educational Services Commission in 1996, where he worked as the Supervisor of Student Transportation.[9]

Newark Municipal Council

In 2010, he won re-election to the Municipal Council of Newark with 19% of the vote. Other candidates elected were Mildred C. Crump, Luis Quintana, and Carlos Gonzales.[10]

As a City Councilman, he has supported Planned Parenthood, Stem cell research, medicaid and education funding.[11]

In July 2010, he was elected President of the Newark City Council, succeeding Mildred C. Crump.[12]

Payne's committee assignments included Health, Education and Recreation.[9]

Essex County Board of Freeholders

In 2005, he was one of four candidates elected to the At-Large seat. He ranked first with 19% of the vote.[13] In 2008, he won re-election to a second term with 20% of the vote.[14] In 2011, he won re-election to a third term with 18% of the vote.[15]

Committee assignments;

United States House of Representatives

2012 congressional election

After his father's death, Payne declared his intention to run in two elections in 2012: the special election to fill the remainder of his father's unexpired term, and the regularly scheduled election for the two-year term beginning in January 2013. The primaries for both elections were held on June 5, 2012, and the general elections will be held on November 6, 2012.

According to documents filed on May 24, 2012 with the Federal Election Commission, Payne both raised and spent more money than any of the other Democratic candidates.[17] Payne was endorsed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on May 22, 2012.[18]

In the Democratic primary for the special election, Payne competed against Ronald C. Rice (son of State Senator Ronald Rice) and Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith. He won the special election primary, receiving 71 percent of the vote, compared to 25 percent for Rice and 5 percent for Smith.[19]

In the Democratic primary for the full term, Payne competed against Rice, Smith, State Senator Nia Gill, Cathy Wright of Newark, and Dennis R. Flynn of Glen Ridge.[20] He won in a landslide, garnering 60 percent of the vote. Rice received 19 percent, Gill 17 percent, and Smith, Wright and Flynn, combined for about 5 percent of the vote.[21]

After the election, he said, "I've said that I'm following a legacy and I'm not backing away from that."[22] In the general election held on November 6, 2012, he defeated Republican candidate Brian C. Kelemen with 87% of the vote.[23] He ran unopposed for the special election to fill the remainder of his father's term. However, the 10th is a heavily Democratic, black-majority district, and Payne had effectively assured himself of succeeding his father with his primary victory.


Payne was sworn into office of November 15, 2012.[24] Payne was a cosponsor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 and the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill aimed at expanding the scope of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Fair Labor Standards Act.[25][26] Payne was also a cosponsored H.R. 41, authorizing $30.4 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Flood Insurance Program to victims of Hurricane Sandy.[27]

On March 24, 2014, Payne introduced the Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Act (H.R. 4289; 113th Congress) a bill that would require the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), within 120 days of the bill’s enactment, to devise a strategy to improve communications among DHS agencies.[28][29] DHS would be required to submit regular reports to Congress on their progress and the decisions they make.[29]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Payne lives with his wife Bea and his triplets in Newark.


  2. "Council President Donald M. Payne Jr.". The Ujima Awards. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  3. Friedman, Matt. "Pascrell, Donald Payne Jr. win key races in highly contested N.J. Congressional primaries", The Star-Ledger, June 5, 2012. Accessed June 9, 2012.
  4. Rizzo, Salvador "N.J. 10th Congressional District winner: Donald Payne Jr.", The Star-Ledger, November 6, 2012. Accessed November 7, 2012.
  5. Raymond Hernandez (March 6, 2012). "Donald M. Payne, First Black Elected to Congress From New Jersey, Dies at 77". New York Times. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  6. "PAYNE, Donald Milford, (1934 - 2012)". Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  7. Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007 *Current Members* Donald M. Payne 1934- UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DEMOCRAT FROM NEW JERSEY 1989-. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  8. 1 2
  10. DONALD M. PAYNE Jr. President, Newark City Council Freeholder-at-Large, Essex County, Newark, New Jersey. Accessed June 9, 2012
  11. "Councilman-At-Large Donald M. Payne Elected New President of Newark Municipal Council", Newark, New Jersey, July 1, 2010. Accessed June 9, 2012.
  16. "Payne Jr. leading Dem. primary fundraising battle". Newsday. The Associated Press. May 25, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  17. Giambusso, David (May 22, 2012). "Nancy Pelosi endorses Donald Payne Jr. to replace late father in N.J.'s 10th District". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  18. "Unofficial Primary Election Results: Special Election - US House of Representatives" (PDF). New Jersey Division of Elections. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  19. Giambusso, David (May 24, 2012). "In packed 10th District congressional election, Donald Payne Jr. is viewed as front-runner". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  20. Giambusso, David (June 5, 2012). "Donald Payne Jr. wins Democratic nomination for House seat in N.J.'s 10th District". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  21. Siddiqui, Sabrina (June 5, 2012). "New Jersey City Councilman Succeeds Late Father In Congress". Huffington Post.
  22. (January 22, 2013). "Official List Candidates for House of Representatives For GENERAL ELECTION 11/06/2012 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey.
  23. "Payne Takes Office". November 15, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  24. "H.R.11 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013". January 29, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  25. "H.R.377 - Paycheck Fairness Act". January 23, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  26. "H.R.41 - To temporarily increase the borrowing authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for carrying out the National Flood Insurance Program.". January 7, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  27. "CBO - H.R. 4289". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  28. 1 2 "DHS Interoperable Communications Act Aims To Achieve Interoperable Communications". Homeland Security Today. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2014.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Donald M. Payne
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 10th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Thomas Massie
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Alan Grayson
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