Dead Congressman Wins Democratic Primary

FILE - A vote here sign is seen outside a polling place during the South Carolina primary, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. Months after the Democratic Party approved President Joe Biden's plan to overhaul its primary order to better reflect a deeply diverse voter base, implementing the revamped order has proven anything but simple. Party officials now expect the process to continue through the end of the year — even as the 2024 presidential race heats up all around it. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ) won the Democratic Party’s primary in New Jersey on Tuesday, a little more than a month after he died at the age of 65 following a heart attack.

The late congressman appeared as the sole House candidate for the 10th Congressional District on the primary ballot, although voters can submit a “Write-In” alternative. Carmen Bucco won the Republican primary, though he is considered a long shot in the blue district.

County officials from the Democratic Party are expected to call a convention before August and pick someone else to be their nominee for the November election after the primary results are certified on June 17, according to the New Jersey Globe.

The report noted that a special election to determine who will serve the remainder of Payne’s term is also underway. A primary in that contest is set for July 16, followed by a September 18 general election. At least a dozen people, including 11 Democrats and Bucco, are running in that race.

Payne, a six-term congressman, suffered a heart attack on April 6, resulting in hospitalization. A couple of weeks later, on April 24, officials announced Payne had died. He had been running for another two-year term in the House, and his name was already printed on ballots for the primary before his passing.

“We are saddened to be informed of the passing today of Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr., who had been serving New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District since 2012, and who succeeded his father in the same position,” House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said in a post to X. “Our prayers are offered today for his family and friends, and especially his wife, Bea, and their three children.”

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