Beforehand on Tuesday morning, the entire state of New Jersey came together to recognize and express their sincere condolences to the family of Lieutenant Governor Shelia Oliver, who sorely left us at 71.
Governor Phil Murphy, a member of the Popular party, spoke warmly about Shelia, describing her as exceptionally genuine and compassionate. He emphasized how their fellowship and cooperation had been priceless to him. Recalling the history, he proudly said that choosing her as his handling mate for not just one but two choices was the most satisfying decision he’d ever made.
State Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin participated in touching recollections of his long association with Shelia. He fondly flashed back to the day she entered the council and praised her outstanding service as a speaker. Craig marveled at how Shelia shattered walls, getting the first African- American woman to hold the position of New Jersey’s Speaker and latterly achieving the major corner of getting the state’s first African- American Lieutenant Governor.
Shelia was further than just a politician; she was extraordinary. Her profound connection with the people she served and her deep love for the state she represented was apparent in every bid she pursued. The loss of her intellect, leadership, and passionate spirit leaves a void that will be hard to fill.