Rep. Donald Payne Jr. said Saturday he had tested positive for the coronavirus and would be isolating while recovering.
Payne, D-10th Dist., said he would “continue to represent my district and perform my duties remotely.”
The congressman said he had no symptoms and had been vaccinated and boosted. He said he tested positive on Friday.
“COVID-19 is still a very real threat especially to people who are immunocompromised, and I urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated to help protect people who are at greater risk,” he said in a statement. “I know that my family, friends and constituents are praying for me during this difficult time, and I’m grateful for that support.”
Payne set a personal fundraising record and received several high-profile endorsements, including from Gov. Phil Murphy and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as he tries to fend off a spirited challenge from former legislative staffer Imani Oakley in the June 7 Democratic primary.
He reported taking in $816,027 between Jan. 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022, and entered April with $569,353 in the bank. Oakley reported raising $388,983 and had $107,838 to spend. The other Democratic primary candidate, sociology professor Akil Khalfani, did not report raising any money. Neither did either Republican candidate, Garth Stewart or David Pinckney.
The final pre-primary campaign finance filings are due later this month.
At least six members of the state’s congressional delegation have tested positive for COVID-19: . Reps. Frank Pallone Jr.., D-6th Dist., Andy Kim, D-3rd Dist., Tom Malinowski, D-7th Dist., Bill Pascrell Jr., D-9th Dist., and Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12th Dist., and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11th Dist., quarantined twice after coming in contact with people who had tested positive, but tested negative both times. And Kim and Josh Gottheimer, D-5th Dist., quarantined in 2020 after people they had contact with later were found to be infected. Both lawmakers also tested negative.
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