Payne Says He Has Colon Cancer
New Jersey Congressman Donald Payne is undergoing treatment for colon cancer.
Payne e-mailed a statement Friday evening that said he is undergoing treatment and that he will continue to represent New Jersey's 10th Congressional District. "I wish to inform my constituents of the 10th Congressional District of New Jersey, my colleagues in the United States Congress, and my many friends as well as supporters that I am under the care of an outstanding medical team for the treatment of colon cancer. They expect my full recovery, as do I.," Payne wrote.
A staffer in Payne's office confirmed the statement Friday night. It was not known how long his treatment would last.
The 77-year-old Payne has represented the 10th District, which includes the city of Newark as well as parts of Essex, Hudson and Union counties, since 1988 and was elected to a 12th term in 2010.
He was New Jersey's first black legislator to be elected to Congress. He is a member of House committees on education and labor, and foreign affairs.
Another longtime New Jersey politician, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma two years ago at age 86 and remained in office while undergoing chemotherapy treatments. He was pronounced cancer-free later that year.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)