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

Payne slows spending after costly uncompetitive primary

Republican challenger hasn’t filed campaign finance disclosures so far this cycle

By Nikita Biryukov, October 16 2020 3:47 pm

Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) reigned in his spending after what appeared to be a needlessly costly primary, expending just $51,076 in the third quarter of 2020, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The five-term incumbent raised $69,848 between July 1 and Sept. 30. Most of that money, $57,300, came from political committees.

PACs associated with the International Brotherhood of Engineers, the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, and the Houston-based energy company Phillips 66 each game Payne $5,000.

He received $12,548.17 in individual contributions and grew his war chest from $83,987 to $102,759 over the course of the quarter.

Payne reported spending $391,206 during this year’s primaries. He won with 89% of the vote, defeating challengers Eugene Mazo and John Flora, who won 6% and 4% of the vote, respectively.

Republican challenger Jennifer Zinone has not filed any campaign finance reports with the FEC, signaling a dearth of funds.

The above totals do not include independent expenditures made for or against either candidate, nor do they include spending by candidates’ political action committees.

The 10th legislative district is safely Democratic. In 2018, Payne defeated Republican challenger Agha Khan by nearly 78 points.

The result wasn’t an outlier, and the district now has 268,409 more Democrats than Republicans. There are only 170,994 unaffiliated voters registered there.

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