A Medical Mystery Has Led to the Sudden Death of New Jersey’s Lieutenant Governor, Sheila Oliver

On Tuesday, Sheila Oliver, the lieutenant governor of New Jersey, passed away after being rushed to the hospital the day before for an unspecified medical emergency.

“It is with incredible sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the passing of the Honorable Sheila Y. Oliver, Lieutenant Governor of the State of New Jersey,” the Oliver family said in a statement. “She was not only a distinguished public servant but also our cherished daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and hero.”

The age of Oliver Oliver was 71. With Governor Phil Murphy on vacation, she was essentially in charge. When Oliver was sent to the hospital on Monday, Democratic Senate President Nicholas Scutari assumed the role of governor. Murphy described Oliver as a “trailblazer” in his statement about her passing.

The tweet below verifies the news:

“When I selected her to be my running mate in 2017, Lieutenant Governor Oliver was already a trailblazer in every sense of the word,” Murphy said in a statement.

“She had already made history as the first Black woman to serve as Speaker of the General Assembly, and just the second Black woman in the nation’s history to lead a house of a state legislature. I knew then that her decades of public service made her the ideal partner for me to lead the State of New Jersey. It was the best decision I ever made.”

DNC Chair Jaime Harrison expressed his sadness over Oliver’s passing, saying that she “exemplified the very best of what a public servant should be” by being “humble, selfless, and always looking to extend a hand to those who needed it most.”

“She was the first Black woman to serve as speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly — the second Black woman in our country to lead a legislative chamber — and the first woman of color elected to statewide office in New Jersey. She will be greatly missed, but I have no doubt that her legacy will live on in the lives she touched through her lifetime of service,” Harrison said in a statement.

Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey and a potential presidential candidate in 2024, lamented the news on Twitter: “It is a sad day for NJ and for me personally.”

“I will miss Sheila. She served as Speaker in my first term and we treated each other with kindness and respect,” Christie said. “She was a great person and partner.”

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