Democratic Rep. Donald Payne Jr. dies at age 65

Democratic Rep. Donald Payne Jr. of New Jersey has passed away at the age of 65, his office said in a statement.

“Congressman Payne, Jr. experienced a physical accident at home on April 6, 2024, which necessitated hospitalization. During his treatment for this health issue, he faced medical complications due to diabetes and high blood pressure that led to subsequent cardiorespiratory arrest. Despite the dedicated efforts of the medical staff to treat him and improve his health, they were unable to prevent his passing unfortunately. Congressman Payne, Jr.’s passing comes 12 years after his father, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Sr., died in office on March 6, 2012,” the statement noted.

Payne Jr. took office in late 2012 after winning a special election held to fill the vacancy created by the death of his father.

“With his signature bowtie, big heart, and tenacious spirit, Donald embodied the very best of public service,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, said in a statement.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat from New York, described Payne Jr. as “a good friend, highly effective public servant and compassionate leader.”

“I got to know Donald not just as a congressman, but as a friend, having served with him on the Congressional Colorectal Cancer Caucus focused on helping men and women overcome a pervasive form of cancer,” GOP Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee said in a statement. “His legacy will be one of a tireless commitment to public service and fierce advocacy for his constituents for over a decade in Congress.”

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