Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. has endorsed Ras Baraka for another term as mayor of Newark but doesn’t appear to be backing the entire slate of incumbents running for city council.
Payne contributed $2,000 to Dupree Kelly, a hip-hop artist who is running as an independent for one of the four at-large city council seats against the Baraka team, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
The five-term congressman raised just $30,635 during the first quarter of 2018 and spent $45,846. He has only $75,625 cash-on-hand. His anemic fundraising won’t matter much: he faces a nuisance challenge in the Democratic primary and represents one of the most Democratic districts in the nation.
Payne reported paying Washington-based Angerholzer Broz Consulting more than $17,000 for fundraising. Another $12,000 was spent paying political consulting fees to Eric Payne.
He also contributed $2,000 to retire of the campaign debt of Steven Horsford, who lost his seat
as a Democratic congressman from Nevada four years ago. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Illinois), who won 82% in the March 21 Democratic primary, received a $480 contribution.
East Orange Mayor Ted Green received a $900 check from Payne.
The contribution to Kelly could cause Payne some political problems in Newark, where incumbents councilmembers Mildred Crump, Luis Quintana, Carlos Gonzalez and Eddie Osborne are running with the mayor; former Councilmembers Bessie Walker and Hector Corchado are running with Baraka rival Gayle Cheneyfield Jenkins, along with Victor Monterrrosa and Ariagna Perello.
In New Jersey’s 10th district, Democrats have a voter registration edge of 258,434 to 23,412. Payne, who won the seat following the death of his father in 2008, received 86% of the vote in 2016; Donald Trump received just 13% of the vote in the urban North Jersey district.