JUST IN: New Jersey Democratic Lieutenant Governor Dies Suddenly at Age 71 – Was Previously Rushed to Hospital for “Undisclosed Medical Issue”

Credit: Associated Press

New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver suddenly passed away Tuesday at the age of 71.

As ABC News reported, the news comes just one day after she was rushed to the hospital for an undisclosed medical issue. The cause of death at this time is unknown.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s office previously announced that Oliver had been admitted to Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston on Monday.

Oliver had been serving as the acting governor this week because Murphy decided to abscond to Italy for a family vacation.

Oliver became lieutenant governor of the Garden State in 2018 and also served as the head of the Department of Community Affairs.

Before becoming lieutenant governor, Oliver was best known for being the first black woman to serve as speaker of the state assembly. She rose to the post of Assembly speaker in 2010 before losing the seat to Vincent Pietro in 2013 as the New York Post notes.

The Oliver family released the following statement:

“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. She was not only a distinguished public servant but also our cherished daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and hero.”

Governor Murphy also mourned Oliver’s loss and called selecting her as his running mate the best decision he ever made.

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

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