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Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (Photo: Rep. Donald Payne).

Planned Parenthood backs Payne re-election

Six-term congressman praised for record on reproductive rights

By David Wildstein, February 22 2022 3:24 pm

Planned Parenthood Action Fund has endorsed Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) for re-election in New Jersey’s 10th district, becoming the latest in a stampede of endorsements for the North Jersey congressman.

“Congressman Payne has demonstrated strong support for sexual and reproductive health and rights, and we feel confident that he will continue to be a dedicated advocate for Planned Parenthood health centers and the people they serve,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund president. “Now more than ever, we need allies in Washington who will fight for reproductive freedom, and we know that Congressman Payne will always be that champion.”

Payne is running the table in endorsements, gaining support from key labor unions, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

He faces two challengers in the Democratic primary: Akil Khalfani, an Essex County College Sociology professor; and mountebank vagabond Imani Oakley.

Continued support from prominent progressive leaders, including Baraka and former CWA state director Hetty Rosenstein, make it exponentially more difficult for a primary candidate to run to the left of Payne and win.

A former Essex County freeholder and Newark city councilman, Payne was elected to Congress in a 2012 special election following the death of his father, Donald M. Payne, Sr., New Jersey’s first Black congressman.

“No one other than a woman should be able to make decisions when it comes to their health care and their bodies, and that’s exactly why I voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act – groundbreaking, much-needed legislation that passed the House and that the Senate must step up and pass now,” Payne said.

The 10th is one of the most solidly Democratic districts in the nation.  Congressional redistricting keeps the 10th as one of the most Democratic House districts in the nation, and a primary win is tantamount to election there.  The new map adds Caldwell, Essex Fells and Cranford to the district.

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