10th Congressional Race Candidates

State Senator Nia Gill

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The 10th Congressional race is heating up. State Senator Nia Gill has thrown her hat into the ring for the full-term position to fill the vacancy left by the late Donald Payne, Sr. WBGO’s Monica Miller spoke to the Montclair resident about the race.

Nia Gill remembers serving as an aide to the late state Senator Wynona Lipman when they didn’t even have a women’s bathroom in the Statehouse. Now the Democrat who has served in both houses of the state Legislature says it’s time New Jersey had its first African-American woman represent them in Congress.

“Women must have a voice. We must be heard, and must work and I have worked with our males colleagues to make sure that our rights, our privileges, our jobs and our economy are protected.”

(Senator Nia Gill is the spouse of WBGO’s Vice President of Programming and Production Thurston Briscoe.)

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Newark Council President Donald Payne, Jr.

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New Jerseyans have less than a month to get to know the candidates running in the June 5th Primary. One of the hotly contested races is in the 10th Congressional race to replace the late Donald Payne, Sr. WBGO’s Monica Miller sat down with his son Donald Payne, Jr. who is running for his father’s post.

City Council President and Essex County Freeholder-at-Large Donald Payne, Jr. says it’s a challenging time in his life. While mourning the loss of his father who died of cancer, Payne says he’s now pressing forward with his own Congressional campaign to replace him because it’s the right thing to do.

“In watching what he was able to accomplish on a federal level, being with him in Washington, it was something that I always entertained. But, we had a Congressman until March 6th.”

If elected, the Newark native and father of triplets says he will focus on education, seniors, jobs and training programs like a curriculum he created with students at the Essex County College and two hotels being build in Newark.

“There are many dollars in training that we need to bring back to the district. Just as we were able to create that curriculum, we’re going to think outside of the box and look for ways to benefit the 10th Congressional district.”

Councilman Payne along with Newark City Councilmen Ron Rice, Jr. and Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith will be on the ballot twice — once for a special primary election to fill the remaining term. They’ll also be on the ballot for the primary election with other candidates including state Senator Nia Gill.

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Councilman Ron Rice, Jr.

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The political race to see who fills the seat of Congressman Donald Payne, Sr., who was died earlier this month, is heating up. WBGO’s Monica Miller spoke to one of the candidates, Newark City Councilman Ron Rice, Jr. in March shortly after he announced his candidacy.

West Ward Councilman Ron Rice, Jr. says the late Congressman Donald Payne has left big shoes to fill. However, the 41-year-old lawyer and son of veteran state Senator Ron L. Rice says he’s ready to offer constituents a young, progressive candidate who has a strong vision for Essex, Union and Hudson Counties.

“I think it’s the right plan for empowerment, for job creation, for fighting for healthcare, for fighting for education because that’s the true legacy of Congressman Payne is that we should build on the legacy that he had. I think few people that are running are running for that particular reason.”

Other names being mentioned as possible candidates include Assembly speaker Sheila Oliver, State Senator Nia Gill, and Congressman Payne’s son, Newark Council President Donald Payne, Jr.

New Jersey’s primary day is set for June 5th.

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Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith

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The candidates running for the 10th Congressional race are gearing up for Primary Day on June 5th. WBGO’s Monica Miller spoke to Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith who is running in the special election to fill the vacancy left by the late Donald Payne, Sr. and for the full-term post.

Wayne Smith has been the Mayor of Irvington for almost 10 years and also served on the township’s council. But the Democrat says the reason why he’s running for Congress is because his ear is close to the ground when it comes to urban issues in America.

“I love being mayor. I love serving our constituents. But what greater good could you do than in the halls of Congress where millions of dollars whether it’s cop grants which save police people or the SAFER grant which keeps fire people on the ground? Or is it that you save the community block grant or to rescue HUD? All of those things are critical to the 10th Congressional district.”

Mayor Smith along with Newark City Councilmen Ron Rice, Jr. and Donald Payne, Jr. will be on the ballot twice — once for a special primary election to fill the remaining term of the late Congressman. They’ll also be on the ballot for the primary election for the full-term which also has other candidates including state Senator Nia Gill.

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