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Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Payne defeats primary challengers

By Nikita Biryukov, July 07 2020 10:38 pm

The New Jersey Globe projects Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark) will defeat two primary challengers to win effectively re-election to the seat his family has held since 1988.

Payne, who has held the seat since first winning it following the 2012 death of his father, Late Rep. Donald Payne Sr. (D-Newark), fended off primary challenges from Jersey City teacher John Flora and Rutgers University professor Eugene Mazo.

Payne got 90% of the votes cast Tuesday, while Mazo got 6% and Flora got 3%.

Flora raised little money for the contest, bringing in just $14,025.47 by June 17, when he reported having less than $6,000 in his war chest and campaign debt that accounted for most of that money.

Mazo fared better in that regard, bringing in $40,520.00 through June 17. He kept much of that money for the final stretch and went into the campaign’s last weeks with $29,740.37 banked.

Though he has a penchant for burning through campaign contributions, the congressman had more money banked than either challenger as the race neared its end.

He reported having a war chest of $58,675.79 on June 17 after raising $337,141.30 between then and April 1.

Payne will face Republican Jennifer Zinone in November, but the race has likely already been one. The 10th congressional district favors Democrats more than any other district in the state.

In 2018, Payne defeated Republican challenger Agha Khan by more than 150,000 votes, a 76-point margin of victory.

Vote tallies do not include uncounted mail-in ballots received by Tuesday, late-arriving vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by 8 p.m. Tuesday, provisional ballots that won’t be counted for at least a week and mail-in ballots that were disqualified but may be cured at a later date.

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