Democrat Rep Donald Payne Jr Dead at 65

Democrat Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ) has died after suffering a heart attack, his family has confirmed.

The six-term Democrat congressman from New Jersey was 65 years old when he died on Wednesday.

Payne had been suffering from health problems for years.

His father, the late Rep. Donald Payne Sr. (D-NJ), also died in office in 2012.

After suffering a heart attack on April 6, Payne Jr. was left unconscious and on a ventilator.

The tragedy came after years of health struggles, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and failing kidneys, the New Jersey Globe reported.

Payne Jr.’s death was confirmed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

Gov. Murphy shared a statement about his passing on Wednesday.

“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.,” he said.

“Our heartfelt prayers are with him during this difficult time.”

Payne Jr. represented New Jersey’s 10th congressional district from November 2012 until his death.

He succeeded his father, Rep. Donald M. Payne, who held the seat until his death in March 2012.

Payne Jr. was uncontested throughout his six terms.

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According to Murphy, the congressman’s “big heart embodied the very best of public service.”

“It was my great honor to work side-by-side with Donald to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey, and we will hold his memory close to our hearts,” the governor wrote.

Born in Newark, Payne Jr. was raised with two sisters by his dad.

His father was the first black man to represent New Jersey in Congress.

His mother, Hazel Payne, died in 1963 when Payne Jr. was just 5 years old.

The future representative graduated from Kean University with a degree in graphic arts before working for the YMCA Youth in Government Program.

From 1991 to 1996, he worked for the New Jersey Highway Authority until joining the Essex County Educational Services Commission.

As a lawmaker, Payne Jr. was outspoken about progressive issues like abortion rights and pushed for a nationwide socialist healthcare system.

He was a vocal advocate for Medicaid and worked to bolster education in his home state.

The final post shared on his Instagram before his death highlighted Black Maternal Health Week.

This is a breaking news story.

Check back for updates.

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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