Unforeseen TRAGEDY – NJ Lt. Gov. SUDDEN Death!

(USNewsMag.com) – After a sudden illness, New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, 71, died Aug. 1. Oliver had been hospitalized at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston since July 31.

Gov. Phil Murphy is currently on vacation with his family in Italy, and Oliver had been named acting governor while he was gone. Murphy was originally set to return Aug. 13; however, his spokesperson, Mahen Gunaratna, said he will be “returning soon.”

Murphy stated that naming Oliver lieutenant governor was “the best decision I ever made.”

Oliver was born and raised in Newark. She attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, earning a degree in sociology.

From 1996 to 1999, she served on the Essex County board of chosen freeholders. She was first elected to serve in the New Jersey General Assembly in 2004, where she served until 2018. In 2010, she became the first black woman to lead the state Assembly.

In 2018, Oliver became the first black woman elected to a statewide office when she was elected lieutenant governor. She was re-elected in 2021. Oliver was only the second person to hold the office of lieutenant governor, a position that was started under former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

In 2021, she signed a bill establishing a pilot program overhauling the juvenile justice system in four cities in order to reintegrate young people into their communities. In 2021, she also signed a bill reviving a fund for “urban enterprise zones,” which lowered sales tax rates in order to drive economic development in cities.

In her position as lieutenant governor, Oliver oversaw the Department of Community Affairs, which supervises code enforcement and coordinates state aid to cities and towns.

It remains unclear who will succeed Oliver. According to the New Jersey constitution, New Jersey Senate President Nicholas Scutari will be named acting governor if both the governor and lieutenant governor are incapacitated or out of state. The New Jersey Constitution requires Oliver’s successor to be appointed by Murphy within 45 days.

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