NEW BRUNSWICK - Headed to Congress, U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10) celebrated victory last night at the Heldrich Hotel, savoring Barack Obama's national win, while focused on fulfilling a proud family political legacy in office.
"I thank my father and my uncle, those pioneers who opened the doors," said Payne, who attended the Democratic Party celebration with his uncle, former Assemblyman Bill Payne (D-28).
Payne's father, U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-10), died earlier this year, sparking a special election for his seat, which Payne, Jr. won.
"I look forward to the opportunity of working with President Obama and furthering my father's legacy," Payne told PolitickerNJ.com. "I'm not going to let him down."
Praised locally for his friendliness, accessibility and steady presence as Council President, Payne said he felt Obama had done enough to win re-election in what he identified as a toxic political environment nationally.
"His message was always upbeat, even as he was disrespected as the commander-in-chief of this nation," Payne said. "I was very concerned, but he had done so many things, including overseeing the auto industry bailout, getting us through the worst economic times since the Great Depression, and getting Osama bin Laden."
The Congressman-elect repeatedly expressed his interest in going to work in Washington and working in bipartisan fashion.
"That should be the nature of this country," he said.
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"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop- PolitickerNJ.com
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