Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) has raised an ungottheimeresque $28,412 during the first three months of 2021 and has $158,073 cash-on-hand for his 2022 re-election campaign.
He spent $51,610 – nearly double of what he brought in – during the same time period. Among his expenses: $9,781 for his cousin, Eric Payne, to work as his fundraiser.
Payne’s $28,412 haul works out to be about $316 per day. To put that in some perspective: Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) raised an average of $10,656 per day and Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) brought in about $10,222 each day this year.
The human fundraising machine, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff), has not yet been released his first quarter fundraising numbers.
Included in Payne’s revenues was a $2,000 contribution from Marcia Fudge, who gave up her congressional seat to become U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Payne’s lackluster fundraising numbers comes despite his ascension to a House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee with jurisdiction over railroads and pipelines.
The winner of a 2012 special election to replace his late father in New Jersey’s 10th district, fundraising has never been among Payne’s skill sets. Despite that, he wins by huge margins.
Payne won 88% of the vote in a three-way Democratic primary in 2020 and took the general election by an 83%-14% margin against Republican Jennifer Zinone.
The 10th has 272,147 more Democrats than Republicans. With 59% of all registered voters being Democrats – and 6% of Republicans – it’s the most heavily Democratic congressional district in the state.
With no statewide races next year, candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives will head the 2022 ticket. Payne is expected to have the Essex County Democratic organization line — it’s not clear if his district will continue to include parts of Hudson and Union counties — and would likely run on the same ticket as the popular Essex County Executive, Joseph DiVincenzo.