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Grave to Congress: Dead New Jersey Politician Gets Elected

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By Erika John - - 5 Mins Read
Donald Payne giving a public speech
Donald Payne | YT

Donald Payne: Dead Congressman Gets Elected in New Jersey


Surprisingly, despite his passing weeks before the election, the late Donald Payne Jr., a New Jersey congressman, emerged victorious in the New Jersey's 10th District Congress election.


While news of dead people voting is unfortunately not surprising in elections, the report of a dead man being elected is relatively uncommon.


This shocking news of the Donald Payne election has left the people in wonder, scratching their heads at how such an unusual occurrence could happen.


The ballot in New Jersey had already been set by the time the sudden demise of Donald Payne Jr occurred due to a heart attack connected to complications from diabetes in late April.


Donald Payne Jr. was to run unopposed in the Democratic primary of New Jersey's 10th Congressional District. 


Donald Payne delivering a speechon the House Floor
Donald Payne delivering a speechon the House Floor | YT


In light of his sudden demise and unfortunate turn of events, what is the fate of the people he was representing? What is the way forward?


Due to his demise and the need for a replacement, arrangements for a special election to select someone to serve the unfinished Payne’s current term had already been put in place by Governor Phil Murphy (D). 


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The primary has been scheduled for the following month, with the general election scheduled for September. The winner will serve the remaining few months of the unfinished term.


The state law governs the determination of the Democratic nominee for the forthcoming November general election for the next session of Congress. As the law demands, the members of the party county committees in the district are liable to decide who to select.


To maintain the integrity of the electoral system, this law procedure is put in place to ensure that the vacancy left by Donald Payne's election will be replaced accordingly.


In the 10th District, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties' chairs will plan a convention scheduled to take place unfailingly in late August for committee members to select a candidate. 


The convention may take place after the special primary, making way for the members to select anyone who wins the election to complete the unfinished term of the late Donald Payne Jr . Nonetheless, they are not obliged to choose that person.


Whoever wins the particular primary next month and is selected by the convention for the next term will unavoidably win the general elections in September and November, respectively, in the solidly Democratic district.


Since 2012, the district had been represented by Payne, who succeeded his father, former Rep. Donald Payne Sr. (D), and the first Black American to represent New Jersey in Congress, after his demise due to colon cancer. 


Following Donald Payne Jr.'s passing after a heart attack, plans are underway to promptly fill his vacant congressional seat in New Jersey’s 10th District.


The goal is to ensure that the constituents continue to have representation in Congress, and the electoral process is actively progressing to achieve this aim.