New Jersey Grieves Passing of Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver

August 1, 2023

New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver died Tuesday after a sudden illness. She was 71.”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,” her family said in a statement. “She was not only a distinguished public servant but also our cherished daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and hero.”

Oliver was born and raised in an ethnically diverse Newark neighborhood and went on to become the first woman of color to serve in a statewide elected office in New Jersey history. In 2021, Lt. Gov. Oliver was reelected to serve a second term in office. She was only the second Lt. Gov. in New Jersey history, following a 2005 constitutional amendment to establish the office in that state.

Previously, Oliver was elected to serve the 34th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly. A trailblazer in every sense of the word, in 2010 she became the first Black woman in state history to serve as Assembly Speaker, and just the second in the nation’s history to lead a state legislative house.

Oliver was an active member of the CSG East Executive Committee during her tenure in the Legislature, and served on the host committee for the 2012 Annual Meeting in Atlantic City.

In a statement, Gov. Phil Murphy said Oliver “brought a unique and invaluable perspective to our public policy discourse and served as an inspiration to millions of women and girls everywhere, especially young women of color.”

Under Article 5, Section I, paragraph 8 of the New Jersey Constitution, Gov. Murphy will have 45 days to appoint an acting Lt. Gov. to complete Oliver’s term in office.


You might also be interested in