After years of lackluster fundraising, Rep. Donald Payne (D-Newark) posted his largest haul ever in the first quarter of 2022, raising $389,940 and accumulating a warchest of $569,353.
That’s nearly double the amount Payne had ever raised before in a single fundraising quarter, and it comes close to matching the totals of around $550,000 Payne would sometimes raise in an entire two-year election cycle.
Payne’s main opponent in the Democratic primary, Imani Oakley, raised $127,901 and has $107,839 left on-hand. While those numbers may have been enough to keep up with Payne in a previous election cycle, it puts Oakley at a significant financial disadvantage this year heading into the June primary election.
A third Democrat, Akil Khalfani, has run a bare-bones campaign thus far and hasn’t filed a first quarter report with the Federal Election Commission. Two Republicans are also running for the 10th district, neither of whom are likely to be much of a factor in the state’s most Democratic seat.
In her insurgent campaign, Oakley has attempted to outflank Payne from the left and argue that the district needs more active representation. But Payne has gotten key endorsements from figures like Gov. Phil Murphy and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and has been running one of the state’s most engaged campaigns; last week, the congressman turned in 9,933 nominating signatures, a touch above the 200 required for ballot access.