New Jersey Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State
Tahesha L. Way serves as New Jersey’s 3rd Lieutenant Governor. She was appointed to the position by Governor Phil Murphy on September 8, 2023.
A lifelong public servant, Lieutenant Governor Way has devoted her entire career to improving the lives of her fellow New Jerseyans. Over the past two decades, she has served at numerous levels of local and state government.
As Lieutenant Governor, Ms. Way brings her extensive experience to bear on addressing the greatest challenges facing New Jerseyans — from making life more affordable, to protecting fundamental freedoms—like access to reproductive health care and equality under the law — to maintaining New Jersey’s reputation as the best and safest state to raise a family.
In addition to her role as Lieutenant Governor, Ms. Way also serves as New Jersey’s 34th Secretary of State — a position she has held since the beginning of the Murphy Administration.
As Secretary of State, Ms. Way leads one of the nation’s oldest constitutional offices and directs a department with a diverse portfolio. In her capacity as New Jersey’s top election official, she has overseen the state Division of Elections and its work in securing our democracy and ensuring broad, fair access to the right to vote. Lieutenant Governor Way also chaired New Jersey’s Complete Count Commission, a 27 member non-partisan commission established to achieve a complete count in the 2020 US Census. In addition to the critical work protecting what Lieutenant Governor Way calls the “fraternal twins of democracy,” she also oversees the state government offices supporting New Jersey’s vibrant arts, culture, history, and business communities. Under her leadership, the state’s tourism economy has generated record-high revenues.
Following her 2022-2023 service as the first Black person and first Secretary from New Jersey to lead the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) as President, Lieutenant Governor Way continues to serve on the NASS Executive Board as Immediate Past President.
Prior to joining the Murphy Administration, Lieutenant Governor Way was an Administrative Law Judge for the State of New Jersey. In 2006, Lieutenant Governor Way was elected to the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders and served as the Freeholder Director in 2009. She served as Special Counsel for the Passaic County Board of Social Services overseeing all agency litigation. She also served as a Council Member for the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council.
She is the former President of the Women Empowered Democratic Organization of Passaic County, an organization dedicated to empowering Democratic women by increasing their participation with the goal of achieving greater equality in the political process. Lieutenant Governor Way also previously served on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a leading national think tank geared towards advancing dialogue and policy for improving women’s lives and their families.
Lieutenant Governor Way is a graduate of Brown University, where she served as Vice President of the collegiate chapter of the NAACP, President of the Iota Alpha chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. taught religious education, and was a radio announcer for WBRU-FM. She holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law at Charlottesville, where she clerked for the Virginia Legal Aid Society and the United Steelworkers of America.
Lieutenant Governor Way lives in Wayne, New Jersey with her husband Charles and their four children Fallon, Farrah, Faythe, and Fiona. She was raised in the Bronx by her late parents, Robert and Rosa Wright, who also devoted their careers to public service as employees with the New York City Transit Authority.
Lieutenant Governor Way has been a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, Garden State Bar Association, National Association of Women Judges, Association of Black Women Lawyers, Passaic County Bar Association, and the New Jersey Women’s Lawyers Association.