Bloomberg News

Payne Sworn In to Replace His Late Father in Congress

November 15, 2012

New Jersey Democrat Donald Payne Jr. was sworn in this afternoon, replacing his late father Donald Payne, who held his Newark-based congressional seat for more than 20 years before dying in office earlier this year.

Payne, a former Newark city councilman, won a special election on Nov. 6 to complete the rest of his father’s term and also was elected to a two-year term that begins in January.

He said his swearing-in was “bittersweet,” though he was looking forward to continuing his father’s work.

Payne is the last of four special election winners to be sworn in for the lame-duck session of Congress that will include deliberations on averting a combination of sweeping tax increases and spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff.”

The others -- Suzan DelBene, a Washington state Democrat, Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican, and Michigan Democrat David Curson -- were sworn in earlier this week. All but Curson also were elected to full two-year terms.

The elder Payne, New Jersey’s first black congressman, forged a reputation as an advocate for democracy in Africa during a 23-year career in Congress. He died March 6 from colon cancer. He was 77.

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Wallbank in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Katherine Rizzo at

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