Gov. Chris Christie has ordered flags at all state buildings to be flown at half-staff Wednesday to honor a longtime New Jersey congressman who died last week.

The directive issued Monday night honors Rep. Donald Payne, the first black congressional member from New Jersey. The 77-year-old lawmaker died March 6 after battling colon cancer.

Payne was first elected in 1988 after twice losing to former Rep. Peter Rodino, who retired after 40 years in Congress.

Often considered one of the most progressive Democrats in the state's delegation, Payne was elected to a 12th term in 2010. He represented the 10th District, which includes the city of Newark and parts of Essex, Hudson and Union counties.

Payne's funeral will be held Wednesday in Newark.

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