11 Vie To Succeed Payne


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Congressman Donald Payne Jr.

Donald M. Payne, Jr., who represented the district that includes Verona in Congress, died on April 24. Now, 11 people have filed petitions to run in a special Democratic Party primary that will be held on July 16.

The 11 are Derek Armstead, Brittany Claybrooks, John J. Flora, Darryl Godfrey, Alberta Gordon, Eugene Mazo, LaMonica McIver, Shana Melius, Sheila Montague, Debra Salters, and Jerry Walker. The winner of the primary will be the Democratic standard-bearer in a general election for the 10th Congressional district set for September

The crowded field is the result of a court decision in early April that abolished the so-called party-line ballot system, which used to favor candidates backed by party leaders. According to NJ Spotlight News, an independent news website that covers government, business, education, healthcare and other issues, different Essex County leaders are backing different candidates in this race.

The Verona Democratic Committee will be following the Essex County Democratic Committee in its endorsement, says Christine McGrath. It has endorsed McIver, who is the councilwoman for Newark’s Central Ward. McGrath says the Verona Democratic Committee does not have a meet-and-greet scheduled with McIver at this time, but notes that she was present at the Committee’s recent fundraiser.

NJ Spotlight has a video report on the election, which you can watch here.

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