(Bloomberg) -- Democrat Donald Payne Jr., a six-term congressman from New Jersey, died Wednesday at the age of 65.

Payne suffered a “cardiac episode” earlier this month related to complications from diabetes, his office announced last week. He had been hospitalized since.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy confirmed Payne’s death in a statement on Wednesday.

“Tammy and I are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of our friend, and a steadfast champion for the people of New Jersey, Congressman Donald Payne, Jr.,“ Murphy said.

His death creates a new vacancy in the narrowly divided US House. 

Payne was running unopposed in the June 4 Democratic primary. His heavily Democratic district includes parts of Essex, Hudson, and Union counties. Payne’s father was the first Black person elected to Congress from New Jersey.

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