Photo courtesy of Donald Payne Jr. Facebook.


NEWARKU.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr., the New Jersey legislative stalwart who followed in his father’s footsteps into the House of Representatives, where he served for the past 12 years, died on Wednesday. He was 65.

Payne’s father, Donald Payne Sr., was the first Black person elected to serve New Jersey in the House. Payne had carved a name out for himself on progressive issues like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal and reproductive rights.

Witnessing how his home city of Newark suffered from the country’s water infrastructure programs, Payne became a national leader in calling for legislation to address lead water pipe issues around the country, especially in urban areas where those issues mostly affected Black and Brown communities.

“Tammy and I are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of our friend, and a steadfast champion for the people of New Jersey, Congressman Donald Payne Jr.,” said NJ Gov. Phil Murphy in his statement.

“With his signature bow tie, big heart, and tenacious spirit, Donald embodied the very best of public service. As a former union worker and toll collector, he deeply understood the struggles our working families face, and he fought valiantly to serve their needs, every single day. That purpose was the light that guided him through his early years as Newark City Council President and during his tenure on the Essex County Board of Commissioners. And it guided him still through his more-than-a-decade of service in Congress.”

Read the rest of Gov. Murphy’s comments here.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY, honored Payne with a picture of the two together in a post on social media site X.


“Deeply saddened by the passing of Congressman Donald Payne Jr., a good friend, highly effective public servant and compassionate leader,” Jeffries posted. “My prayers and support are with the Payne family and his loved ones during this difficult time. May he forever Rest in Peace.”

Across the aisle, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., remembered him as well.

“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,” Johnson stated on X. “Our prayers are offered today for his family and friends, and especially his wife, Bea, and their three children.”

State and national legislators and others paid tribute to Payne on social media Wednesday.

Follow Us Today On:





Note from AC JosepH Media: If you like this story and others posted on Front Runner New, lend us a hand so we can keep producing articles like these for New Jersey and the world to see. Click on SUPPORT FRNJ and make a contribution that will go directly in making more stories like this available. Thank you for reading.

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *