Statement from Governor Murphy on the Passing of Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver
“Tammy and I, and our children, are incredibly saddened and distraught to learn of the passing of our dear friend, colleague, and partner in government, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver.
"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.
"In the five and a half years that we served together in office, in addition to her responsibilities as Lieutenant Governor, Sheila led the Department of Community Affairs, handling some of the most challenging issues facing our State, including the revitalization of our cities, affordable housing obligations, and homelessness prevention. As someone who was born and raised in Newark, and who has called East Orange home for more than 40 years, Sheila did not view these issues in the abstract because she lived with them every day of her life. She 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.
"Beyond all of that, she was an incredibly genuine and kind person whose friendship and partnership will be irreplaceable. We ask that you all keep the Oliver family and all those who knew and loved her in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”