New Jersey Mourns the Death of Sheila Oliver, Beloved Lt. Gov.


New Jersey’s Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who was executing her duties as governor while Gov. Phil Murphy is vacationing in Italy, has died.

Olivier had been admitted to the Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J., and was said to be “unable to discharge the duties of acting governor at this time,” according to a statement by Communications Director Mahen Gunaratna on Monday.

The reason she was hospitalized is still unknown. The cause of her death is also not known. She was 71.

According to the New Jersey Constitution State Senate President Nick Scutari took over as governor after Oliver was hospitalized and will continue in that role until Murphy returns.

“I selected her as my running mate for 2017 when I chose Lt. Oliver was a trailblazer by any definition of the term,” Murphy said in his statement. “I knew that with her years of public service, she was the perfect partner to help me lead the State of New Jersey.” “It was the best choice I’ve ever made.”

Oliver was New Jersey’s first black lieutenant governor.

In 1994, she began her career as a politician when she was elected to the East Orange Board of Education. She also served as a member of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders between 1996 and 1999. She lost the 1997 mayoral elections for East Orange.

Oliver was a member of New Jersey’s General Assembly between 2004 and 2018 as well as its speaker from 2010 until 2018. She was also the head of Community Affairs.

She lost the primary elections in 2013 when she ran for the Senate seat in a special election after Sen. Frank Lautenberg died.

It is with great sadness that we announce Sheila Y. Oliver’s passing as Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey. In a press release, the Oliver family stated that she was not only an outstanding public servant but also a beloved daughter, sister aunt, friend, and hero. Sheila Y. Oliver has left behind a legacy that is one of service, dedication, and inspiration. We will always remember her dedication to the people in New Jersey and her tireless efforts for the betterment of the community.