New Jersey's 10th Congressional District elections, 2012

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New Jersey's 10th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Donald Payne Jr. Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Donald M. Payne Democratic Party
Donald M. Payne.jpg

New Jersey U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of New Jersey.png
The 10th Congressional District of New Jersey held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Donald Payne Jr. won the election.[1]
This was the congressional map approved by the 2011 redistricting committee. The 10th District was the magenta district in the northeastern part of the state.
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
April 2, 2012
June 5, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: New Jersey had a mostly closed primary system, in which registered Republicans and Democrats could only vote in their own party's primary, but voters who had never voted in a primary before could choose either party.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by March 11, 2012. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 16, 2012.[2]

See also: New Jersey elections, 2012

Incumbent: On March 6, 2012, district incumbent Donald Payne (D) died from complications of colon cancer. He had originally planned to run for re-election.[3] A special election was held to select a representative to fill Payne's vacated seat for just one month before the representative elected for the next term took office.

See also: New Jersey's 10th Congressional District special election, 2012

The North Jersey Record labeled the Democratic primary in the 10th one of the most competitive primaries of 2012.[4]

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. New Jersey's 10th Congressional District was located in the northern portion of the state and parts of Essex, Union, and Hudson counties.[5]


Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party Donald Payne Jr. Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Brian Kelemen
Libertarian Party Mick Erickson
Independent Joanne Miller

June 5, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic primary

Republican Party Republican primary

Libertarian PartyLibertarian Party

IndependentThird Party

Primary Results

Democratic Primary

New Jersey's 10th Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDonald Payne Jr. 59.6% 36,576
Ronald C. Rice 19.5% 11,939
Dennis Flynn 1.3% 779
Nia Gill 16.6% 10,207
Wayne Smith 2.2% 1,356
Cathy Wright 0.8% 501
Total Votes 61,358



Newark City Councilman Donald Payne Jr. was running for the seat left empty by the death of his father, Donald Payne Sr. Payne Jr. stated, "I feel I am the best person at this time to follow in the legacy of Donald Payne and continue to serve in the manner to which you’ve been accustomed to being served for the last 23 years."[9]

Nia Gill and Ronald C. Rice said that voters shouldn't elect Donald Payne Jr. just because of his father. Gill stated she offered a "legacy of purpose,' while Rice called for the election to be "a referendum on taking our party back."[9]

Payne Jr. also had a bit of a setback on the issue of legacy when he was the only Democratic candidate unable to name any of his father's accomplishments in Congress.[9]

For his part, Rice was also the son of a New Jersey politician, with his father, Ronald L. Rice, being a longtime state senator.[10]

Women's issues

Nia Gill emphasized her potential to be New Jersey's first black congresswoman[9] as well as the only female on the state's currently all-male congressional delegation.[4]

Progressive politics

Ronald C. Rice considered himself the most progressive candidate in the race.[9]


Nia Gill had been a member of the New Jersey Legislature since 1994. She served three terms in the New Jersey General Assembly and three in the New Jersey State Senate.[9] She earned her J.D. from Rutgers University.[9]

Ronald C. Rice was a two-term Newark city councilman with a law degree from Seton Hall.[9]

Donald Payne Jr. was Newark city council president, had served on the city council for two terms and had served three terms as Essex County freeholder.[7]

Wayne Smith was mayor of Irvington.[7]

Cathy Wright and Dennis Flynn were first-time candidates. Wright said that was an advantage: "I think that’s what Washington needs, more real people — not career politicians."[9]


Local officials

New Jersey's 10th covered parts of Essex, Union, and Hudson counties.[11] The Essex County Democrats, along with two influential Hudson County Democrats, backed Donald Payne Jr. The Hudson County Democrats were behind Nia Gill, and she was also projected to be strong in the suburbs. Union County was seen as up in the air. Ronald C. Rice had the backing of three Newark city councilmembers, whose support held water in the South Ward, traditionally a Payne stronghold.[9]


The state's biggest union, Communications Workers of America, along with the SEIU local, supported Ronald C. Rice.[12]

The Teamsters, firefighters, and retail workers unions came out in support of Donald Payne Jr..[13]

Womens groups

The National Women’s Political Caucus and Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey endorsed Nia Gill.[14]


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi endorsed Donald Payne Jr.[15]


Donald Payne Jr. outraised and outspent his opponents. Between April 1, 2012 and May 16, 2012, he raised more than all the other Democratic contenders put together.[16] In total, Payne raised $188,688, while the next highest fundraisers, Nia Gill and Ronald C. Rice, raised $121,029 and $45,325 respectively.[17]

Unions contributed approximately $17,000 to Payne's campaign, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi donated $2,000.[17]

Rice received $2,500 from each of the following: New Jersey State Senator Richard Codey, the Democracy for America PAC, and Jordan Paul, head of the Moroccan American Center for policy.[17]

Gill's largest donation was $5,000, which came from the American Dental Association.[17]

Wayne Smith, Cathy Wright, and Dennis Flynn each raised under $5,000 total.[9]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in New Jersey

New Jersey lost a congressional seat following the results of the 2010 Census, bringing its number of representatives down to 12. A new map was approved on December 23, 2011.

The 10th District was re-drawn after the 2010 Census. The new district was composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[18][19]

Registration statistics

As of October 25, 2012, District 10 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the New Jersey Secretary of State:

New Jersey Congressional District 10[20]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 10 407,960 207,830 20,739 179,391 Democratic 902.12% -175.63%
"Party advantage" is the percentage gap between the two major parties in registered voters. "Change in advantage" is the spread in difference of party advantage between 2010 and 2012 based on the congressional district number only.

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. New Jersey's 10th District became more Republican because of redistricting.[21]

  • 2012: 82D / 18R
  • 2010: 83D / 17R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measured each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. New Jersey's 10th Congressional District had a PVI of D+31, which was the 13th most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 85-15 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, John Kerry (D) won the district 80-20 percent over George W. Bush (R).[22]

Campaign donors

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are the candidates' reports.[23][24]

Donald Payne Jr.

Donald Payne Jr. Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Pre-primary[25]May 24, 2012$0.00$188,688.26$(81,914.69)$106,773.57
July Quarterly[26]July 15$106,773.57$203,746.00$(318,940.63)$-8,421.06
Running totals

District history

Candidate ballot access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


On November 2, 2010, Donald Payne was re-elected to the United States House for a twelfth term. He defeated Michael J. Alonso (R), Robert Louis Toussaint (Action No Talk), and Joanne Miller (Agent of Change).[27]

United States House, New Jersey General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDonald M. Payne Incumbent 85.2% 95,299
     Republican Michael J. Alonso 12.8% 14,357
     Action No Talk Robert Louis Toussaint 1% 1,141
     Party of Change Joanne Miller 1% 1,080
Total Votes 111,877

See also


  1. Politico, "2012 House Race Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  2. New Jersey Department of State, "Voter Registration Information," accessed June 30, 2012
  3. New York Times, "Donald M. Payne, First Black Elected to Congress From New Jersey, Dies at 77," March 6, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 North, "Harrison: New Jersey's competitive primaries," April 22, 2012
  5. New Jersey Redistricting Map, "Map" accessed September 25, 2012
  6. PolitickerNJ "Councilman Rice to vie for Newark's congressional seat," accessed December 22, 2011
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 "U.S. Senate Primary Candidates," accessed April 2, 2012
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Candidate List" accessed September 19, 2012
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 New Jersey Star-Ledger, "In packed 10th District congressional election, Donald Payne Jr. is viewed as front-runner," May 24, 2012
  10. Ronald C. Rice campaign website, "About," accessed May 25, 2012
  11. New Jersey Redistricting Commission, "Congressional Map 2012," accessed May 26, 2012
  12. New Jersey Star-Ledger, "Retail workers union endorses Donald Payne Jr. in 10th District congressional race," May 15, 2012
  13. Donald Payne Jr. campaign website, "Endorsements," accessed May 26, 2012
  14. PolitickerNJ "Women's groups endorse Gill in CD 10," May 4, 2012
  15. New Jersey Star-Ledger, "Nancy Pelosi endorses Donald Payne Jr. to replace late father in N.J.'s 10th District," May 22, 2012
  16. (Long Island) Newsday, "Payne Jr. leading Dem. primary fundraising battle," May 25, 2012 (dead link)
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 New Jersey Star-Ledger, "Donald Payne Jr. handily defeating Democratic foes when it comes to fundraising," May 25, 2012
  18. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "New Jersey's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  19. Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  20. New Jersey Secretary of State, "Congressional Voter Registration Statistics," May 22, 2012
  21. FairVote, "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in New Jersey," September 2012
  22. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
  23. Federal Election Commission, "Donald Payne Jr. Summary Report," accessed October 11, 2012
  24. Federal Election Commission, "NJ District 10 Summary" accessed October 11, 2012
  25. Federal Election Commission, "Donald Payne Jr. Pre-Primary" accessed October 11, 2012
  26. Federal Election Commission, "Donald Payne Jr. July Quarterly" accessed October 11, 2012
  27. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013