U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today endorsed Newark Council President Donald M. Payne Jr. in the 10th Congressional District contest.
“Donald has the skill, the passion and the commitment to make a difference in Congress,” Menendez said. “Whether it is working on innovative public/private partnerships to create jobs, helping young people get the skills they need to compete in the job market or working with Planned Parenthood to provide affordable women’s health care, Donald Payne Jr. lives up to his slogan – The guy who gets things done.”
Payne is running in a Democratic Primary againt state Sen. Nia Gill, (D-34), West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice and Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith. Menendez was close to Payne’s father, the late U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, (D-10).
Menendez rarely endorses in special elections, but he explained.
”The stakes in Washington are higher than ever,” said the senator. “While the extreme Republicans in Congress look to turn the clock back on families, on women and on seniors, Donald Payne Jr. will be an unwavering advocate for the people he represents. Donald has the strength of character and the experience to stand up to the House Republicans and their Tea Party allies.
“I was proud to work with Congressman Payne and to call him a friend,” Menendez added. “His passing leaves us all poorer. While I have enormous respect for all three candidates, I am strongly endorsing Donald Payne Jr. to carry on the work on Congressman Payne, not because he is his son, but because he has the skills and the vision to carry on that record of outstanding public service.”