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State Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City). Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.
State Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City). Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.

Cunningham not ready to endorse in CD10, but she likes Payne

Congressman faces progressive primary challenge

By Nikita Biryukov, December 04 2019 2:01 pm

State Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City) said it’s too soon to say whether she’ll back Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark) for re-election, but she said she likes the incumbent.

“I have not talked to Donald. I like him. I think he’s doing a good job. That’s the best I can say. I have to talk to him,” Cunningham said. “It’s a little too soon to say.”

Payne faces a primary challenger from the left from Jersey City teacher John Flora.

Another candidate, Rev. Stephen Green, a pastor at Roselle’s Heard AME Church, has formed a committee to explore a bid in the district.

Cunningham lives in and represents Jersey City.

Payne won his congressional seat following the death of his father, Rep. Donald Payne Sr., in 2012.

He hasn’t faced a serious election challenge since then.

In the 2012 primary, Cunningham and then-Hudson County Democratic Chairman Mark Smith endorsed State Sen. Nia Gill (D-Montclair) for Congress.

Payne regularly wins his general elections by 80-point margins, and he hasn’t had a remotely competitive primary since 2012, when he defeated State Sen. Ronald Rice 60%-20%. State Sen. Nia Gill ran in third with 17% of the vote.

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