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Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-Newark)

More than one-fifth of Payne’s fundraising haul goes to pay his cousin

Newark congressman spent more than he raised this cycle to win 89% primary victory

By David Wildstein, July 14 2020 12:37 pm

Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) burned through $391,206 to win the Democratic primary in New Jersey’s 10th district and now has $83,987 remaining in his campaign warchest.

He leads Seton Hall University law professor Eugene Mazo by an 89%-6% margin, with Jersey City public school teacher John Flora currently at 4% of the vote.

Payne raised $39,300 in the 2nd quarter of 2020 and has brought in $301,205 since the start of his fifth term in 2019.

One of his largest fixed expenses is the salary of his cousin, Eric Payne, who works as a campaign fundraiser.

Eric Payne was paid $64,360 for the first eighteen months of the 2020 cycle, about 21% of the total raised by the Essex County congressman.

Payne has little need for campaign cash for his general election race against Republican Jennifer Zinone.

The 10th is one of the most heavily-Democratic districts in the nation, with a 10-1 Democratic voter registration edge.  Payne received 88% of the vote in his 2018 re-election bid against Republican Agha Khan, and Donald Trump took just 13% of the vote in the 2016 presidential election.

Payne did not immediately respond to a voicemail left at his Washington office at 10:43 AM on Monday.

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