No Payne, no game: Rep. Donald Payne Jr. wins 10th District primary

After winning the Democratic nomination, Payne Jr. will now seek a fifth term in the general election

Rep. Donald Payne Jr., who's district includes the south part of Jersey City, has been in office since 2012. Editorial credit: Lev Radin /

Rep. Donald Payne Jr. has won the Democratic nomination for the 10th District of New Jersey, according to the Associated Press, defeating two challengers in the primary and setting him on the path for a potential fifth term in the House of Representatives.

Payne Jr. has been in office since 2012, where he succeeded his late father, Donald M. Payne, after serving as the president of the Newark City Council.

“This is a victory for the hardworking men and women of the 10th District who showed that they demand experienced, effective leadership that puts their needs first and always shows up for them, and that’s exactly what I have always strived to deliver as their Congressman,” said Payne Jr. in a statement.

The congressman touted his record in Congress, as well as the endorsements of a number of labor unions and other various organizations, while on the campaign trail. He was challenged by Imani Oakley, the former legislative director of the New Jersey Working Families Alliance, and Akil Khalfani, a professor at Essex County College.

Oakley had sought to run as a progressive candidate in the race. She conceded the primary after the election was called and took aim at the establishment in a statement posted on Twitter.

“I’m disappointed that the establishment’s dirty tricks and anti-democratic ballot line won out, but I still believe in this movement,” she said.

The 10th District covers the southern portion of Jersey City, being connected to Newark and other parts of neighboring Essex County, and is a majority Black-district. It is also the most heavily Democratic leaning district in all of New Jersey, with a partisan lean of D+58 according to FiveThirtyEight.

Payne Jr. will now face David Pinckney, who won the Republican primary with the county parties’ support over Garth Stewart, in the general election on Nov. 8.

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