Newark lawmaker to run for Payne seat

Newark, N.J., City Councilman Ron Rice will run for the seat left open last week by the death of Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.), an aide said Friday.

Intending to challenge Payne in the primary, Rice formed an exploratory committee at the start of 2012, then converted it to a regular congressional committee about two weeks ago. He had planned to roll out his campaign but held off out of respect for Payne, who was flown back to New Jersey on a medical transport in early March amid a battle with colon cancer. Payne died days later and was buried Thursday.

Rice, an attorney, is the son of New Jersey state Sen. Ron Rice Sr. (D).

New Jersey Democrats say other potential candidates include Payne's son, Donald Payne Jr., and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D).

Rice spokesman Michael Makarski told The Hill that Rice will formally roll out his campaign early next week.

Payne's district is heavily Democratic, and the winner of the Democratic primary is expected to win the general election.