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TRENTON, N.J. — U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, the first black elected to represent New Jersey in Congress, died Tuesday. He was 77.

The 12-term member of the House had announced in February that he was undergoing treatment for colon cancer and would continue to represent his district.

He had held his congressional seat since 1988 and 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 was a member of House committees on education and foreign affairs. He also had served as chairman of the House subcommittee on Africa, and had traveled many times to the continent on foreign affairs matters.

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