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Democrat Dies Suddenly While Serving as Acting Governor

Official Portrait of Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver | via State of New Jersey

71-year-old Democrat Sheila Oliver of New Jersey passed away unexpectedly at the age of 71 after being hospitalized for an undisclosed medical issue.

Oliver, who serves as lieutenant governor, was the “acting governor” at the time of her death as Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy was out of the country. Murphy was vacationing overseas in Italy.

A statement from her family to social media reads, “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.” (Trending Now: Hunter Biden Star Witness Drops Bombshell Testimony)

“As we come to terms with this profound loss, we kindly request that you respect the privacy of the Oliver family during this difficult time as they grieve their beloved Sheila,” the statement continued. “Sheila Y. Oliver leaves behind a legacy of dedication, service, and inspiration.”

Those who knew Oliver described her as a “distinguished public servant” and a “cherished daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and hero.”

“We will remember her commitment to the people of New Jersey and her tireless efforts to uplift the community. Further information and details regarding memorial arrangements will be provided in due course,” the statement continued. “Until then, we appreciate your understanding and support. May her memory be a source of comfort and strength to all who knew her.”

Governor Murphy also released a statement about her death, saying, “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,” he added.

Oliver ran for the state Senate in 2001, but lost. Democratic state Senate President Nicholas Scutari will now serve as acting governor until Murphy returns.

In the state’s General Assembly, she became the first black woman to serve as speaker in 2003.

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