NJ Election 2020: District 10

New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District, which covers most of Newark, parts of Jersey City and Bayonne and several other Essex and Union county communities, is the bluest in the state.

Some 59% of the district’s registered voters are Democrats, while only 6% are Republicans, with most of the orest unaffiliated with either party.

The district also has the smallest population of non-Hispanic white residents — about 19% of all — and the largest proportion of Black residents, who make up half of the total population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This is also the second-youngest district in the state, with residents having a median age of 36.1 years.

Rep. Donald Payne Jr. beat two primary opponents. Jennifer Zinone was the only Republican who filed. Three independents are also running.


In his eighth year in office, Payne succeeded his father, Donald M. Payne Sr., who died in office in 2012. He is a former Newark Council president and former Essex County freeholder.

Currently, Payne chairs the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery. He has sponsored laws that help homeland security personnel communicate reliably during emergencies and secure public areas of airports and other transportation facilities. Payne also serves on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and has been advocating for funding for the Gateway Project. He is sponsoring a bill that would encourage people to trade in their firearms to receive prepaid cards.

Payne, 61, attended Kean University, where he studied graphic arts. He lives in Newark with his wife and triplets.

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A lifelong Bayonne resident, Zinone studied microbiology and immunology at the University of New Hampshire. She has worked as a copywriter and in marketing communications.

She calls her positions “common sense solutions” and they range from increasing investments in education to cutting federal spending to protecting parents’ rights to “make decisions for their children without government interference,” according to her campaign website.

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Fitchette, of Irvington, is running under the slogan “Building Your Legacy.” On her campaign website, Fitchette calls herself s “a proud feminist and advocate for women’s rights, Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities, and immigration reform.”

According to her LinkedIn page, Fitchette is founder of a women’s workwear and publishing company. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Cornell University. She supports the Green New Deal, criminal justice reform and public charter schools.

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Khalfani, of Newark, did not file a slogan for the ballot. He is a professor of sociology and africana studies at Essex County College. Khalfani holds degrees from the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Pennsylvania.

According to his campaign website, Khalfani supports ending for-profit prisons, the Green New Deal and reparations for African Americans.

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Mirrione is a U.S. Air Force veteran who teaches karate and owns Harmony by Karate and chairs Harmony Power Foundation, an anti-bullying organization, according to his campaign Facebook page. He lives in Westfield, which is located in the neighboring 7th Congressional District.

A COVID-19 survivor, Mirrione supports comprehensive tort reform as a way to reduce health care costs, the elimination of standardized testing in schools and mandatory body cameras for police.

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