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Senator Ruiz Statement on the Passing of U.S. Representative Donald Payne Jr.

TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz issued the following statement on the passing of Representative Donald Payne Jr.:

“Donald Payne Jr.’s passing leaves a profound void not only in our district but across the state and nation. He was not just a colleague; he was a cherished friend and brother. His departure leaves behind a impactful and enduring legacy. Donald’s journey from the outset of his political career as President of the South Ward Young Democrats, Essex County Freeholder-At-Large, At-Large Councilman, and ultimately Council President for the City of Newark, to a six-term Congressman, speaks volumes about his unwavering commitment to his community. He remained deeply rooted in Essex County, always connected and dedicated to the people he served. 

“Despite the daunting task of following in his father’s footsteps, Donald didn’t merely fill his father’s shoes; he carved out a path uniquely his own. His legacy will continue to inspire generations to come. As a true son of Newark, Donald embodied the very essence of public service, championing causes that resonated deeply with our constituents. His humor was unmatched and served to provide a sense of levity in tough times as he narrated events under his breath to make us all laugh. And to those who knew his fashion sense, was one of trendsetter of the fashionable sock style. My heartfelt love and prayers go out to his wife Beatrice, his children and the entire Payne family. His impact will be felt in our hearts for years to come a testament to his extraordinary career.”