Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), today released the following statement on the passing of their colleague Congressman Donald Payne.

“We are saddened by the news of the passing of our friend and colleague, Congressman Donald Payne. Don was a true servant of the people. As a former educator, he was a champion for students. For decades, Representative Payne worked to guarantee universal access to higher education and was an eloquent advocate for a government that exists to make the lives of working Americans better.

“Congressman Payne balanced the demands of his work with a true kindness and warmth that can be difficult to find, and his voice will be missed in the halls of Congress and in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Our thoughts and prayers are with Don’s family, friends, staff, and constituents.”