A progressive Democrat challenging Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) in the Democratic primary has endorsed Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“Bernie is going to need a progressive Congress behind him to get anything accomplished,” said John J. Flora, a Jersey City music teacher who announced his House bid in the 10th district earlier this year.
Flora has labeled Payne as a PAC-addicted incumbent and says he will fund his campaign through small contributions.
He’ll need a lot of those to battle organization lines in Essex, Hudson and Union counties. Payne won 91% of the vote against challenger Aaron Fraser in the 2018 Democratic primary.
“I am a staunch supporter of Bernie and believe he is the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump and fix our country’s most pressing problems,” said John J. Flora. “I’ve been a public supporter of the senator since 2015”, he continued. “I organized for him in Hudson County in the last cycle. When he didn’t receive the nomination, I attended the DNC protest in Philadelphia.”
Payne, a former Newark city councilman and Essex County freeholder, was elected to Conrgess in 2012. He was re-elected with 88% of the vote in New Jersey’s most heavily Democratic district.