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Gov. Murphy to return to New Jersey Thursday as state mourns Lt. Gov. Oliver

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver died Tuesday after being hospitalized for an undisclosed medical issue.

Matt Trapani

Aug 2, 2023, 10:12 PM

Updated 321 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy will return to New Jersey Thursday, cutting his family vacation in Italy short as the state mourns Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver.
Murphy will return by mid-afternoon on Thursday to retake control of the state government, help console the Oliver family and help plan his second-in-command’s funeral.
State politicians and community leaders are mourning Oliver, who was hospitalized Monday for an undisclosed medical condition. She died Tuesday.
“I loved Sheila. She was tall and elegant and honest and straightforward and loyal and a strong voice,” says Loretta Weinberg, former state Senate majority leader. “I don’t know what else you could ask from a public figure in New Jersey.”
Weinberg and Oliver maintained a 20-year friendship. When Weinberg chaired a commission to investigate sexism and misogyny in state politics in 2019 and 2020, Oliver was her co-chair as the commission investigated reports of sexist and misogynistic behavior by men of both parties.
Weinberg pointed out that Oliver reached the pinnacle of power as both state Assembly speaker and lieutenant governor of the state. She says she is saddened that Oliver's voice has been silenced.
This respect extended to both sides of the political aisle. In 2021, when the Murphy/Oliver ticket was running for reelection against Republican Jack Ciattarelli and Republican former state Sen. Diane Allen, Oliver and Allen hugged following a largely civil debate at Rider University.
Murphy must name a new lieutenant governor within 45 days of Oliver’s death, according to the state Constitution.
Details for funeral services for Oliver have not yet been released.
WATCH: Discussing the legacy of Lt. Gov. Shelia Oliver and what comes next


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