New Jersey Mourns the Death of Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver
NEW YORK.- The lieutenant governor of New Jersey, Sheila Oliver, who also served as interim governor, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 71, her family announced in a statement. Oliver had been hospitalized for an undisclosed medical issue and was admitted to Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.
“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 beloved daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and hero,” said the statement from the Oliver family.
Oliver, a prominent figure in New Jersey politics, had a distinguished career. She made history as the first African-American woman to serve as Speaker of the New Jersey Assembly and the second African-American woman to lead a state legislature in the country.
Currently serving as Acting Governor while Governor Phil Murphy was on vacation, Oliver’s death has left a void in the state’s political landscape. Governor Murphy and his family expressed their deep sadness and distress at the news of Oliver’s passing.
“It is a tremendous loss for our state and for all those who had the privilege of working with her. Sheila Y. Oliver leaves a legacy of dedication, service, and inspiration,” the family statement read. “We will remember her commitment to the people of New Jersey and her tireless efforts to better the community.”
The state constitution dictates that Democratic Senate Chairman Nicholas Scutari would serve as acting governor until Governor Murphy returns from his vacation. However, it is unclear who will succeed Oliver in the long run.
As New Jersey mourns the loss of a dedicated public servant, Sheila Oliver will be remembered for her significant contributions to the state and her unwavering commitment to improving the lives of its residents.
In other news, as the country reflects on Oliver’s achievements, it is worth acknowledging the contributions of other trailblazing women in American politics throughout history. Figures such as Victoria Claflin Woodhull, the first woman to be nominated for the presidency of the United States, and Jeannette Rankin, the first woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, have paved the way for women like Oliver to make their mark in politics.
As the nation continues to strive for gender equality and diversity in political leadership, these women serve as an inspiration and a reminder of the progress that has been made and the work that still lies ahead.