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Democratic New Jersey Rep. Donald Payne Jr. dead at 65

U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr., a six-term Democratic congressman from New Jersey, has died, Fox News confirmed Wednesday.

Payne was 65 and had been suffering from health problems for years. His father, the late Rep. Donald Payne Sr., D-N,J., also died in office in 2012.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s office said he and his wife are “deeply saddened by the tragic passing of our friend, and a steadfast champion for the people of New Jersey, Congressman Donald Payne, Jr.” 

According to the New Jersey Globe, Payne had a heart attack on April 6 and had since been hospitalized on a ventilator.

The GOP hangs onto a slim majority in the House. Rep. Mike Gallagher. R-Wisc., was supposed to resign last week. But he has not. The House currently has 218 Republicans, 212 Democrats, and five vacancies: Payne died. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., along with former Reps. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., and Ken Buck, R-Colo., resigned.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

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