John Flora, a Jersey City public school teacher challenging Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) in the 10th district Democratic primary, raised $2,172 in the 4th quarter of 2019 and has $8,280 cash-on-hand.
Flora has raised $11,231 since entering the race last summer and is carrying a $5,000 debt from a loan he made to his own campaign, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
A music teacher and GRAMMY-nominated musician, Flora is running against Payne from the left, focusing on support for the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, gun reform and universal pre-K.
Flora says he is seeking small individual contributions to contrast Payne’s reliance on political action committees.
The 10th district, which includes parts of Essex, Hudson and Union counties, is among the most heavily Democratic in the country.
Payne, a former Essex County Freeholder and Newark City Councilman, was elected in a November 2012 special election to fill the seat of his father, Donald M. Payne, who died earlier that year.
He became the chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery. He also holds a seat on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.
Flora faced some criticism late last year when he defended Jersey City School Board member Joan Terrell-Paige after an anti-Semitic Facebook post she made drew calls for her resignation from Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and Gov. Phil Murphy.