Rep. Donald Payne Gravely Ill

Source: David Catanese and Alex Isenstadt / The Hill

New Jersey Rep. Donald Payne is gravely ill and House members have rushed to his bedside as his battle with colon cancer has taken a drastic turn for the worse, multiple sources tell POLITICO.

Capitol Hill aides say the 12-term Democrat’s health has greatly deteriorated in recent recent days, prompting members to visit him at a Georgetown hospital.

“Don Payne is near the end of his days and members of the New Jersey delegation are saddened and are going to see him,” said one Hill staffer close to the New Jersey delegation.

Another source said members of his staff also visited Payne before he was flown home to New Jersey Friday morning.

The Star-Ledger quotes Payne’s son saying, “we’re optimistic, but . . .  it’s cancer.”

The 77-year-old Payne was the Garden State’s first African-American congressman and is a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

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