Way Assumes Oath as New Jersey’s Lieutenant Governor

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy this morning in the capital city unveiled Tahesha Way as the state’s third lieutenant governor.

The governor set the scene, noting that from August 4th to Sept. 4th, the flags flew at half-staff in honor of the late Sheila Oliver, who died last month.

Now, they’re at full staff, as Secretary of State Way took the stage to assume the oath of office as Ms. Oliver’s successor.

New Jersey State Supreme Court Associate Justice Barry Albin did the honors.

“Sheila Oliver was the greatest partner in government I could have ever hoped for, and she leaves incredibly big shoes to fill,” said Murphy.“While no one can truly replace her, I am deeply proud to appoint Secretary of State Tahesha Way to succeed her as Lieutenant Governor. Tahesha has been with our administration from the very beginning, and her work over the past five and a half years leading the Department of State has grown New Jersey’s tourism economy, uplifted small businesses, and strengthened our election system. Tahesha is the perfect candidate to join me in finishing the job that Sheila and I started.”“I considered Lieutenant Governor Oliver a close friend and mentor – someone I looked to for guidance to better serve the people of New Jersey,” said Way, who as LG will continue in her role as secretary of state. “To have been selected as her successor as New Jersey’s next Lieutenant Governor is one of the greatest honors of my career. I come to this position as the child of two public servants who molded me into the person I am today. Having experience at different levels of government has showed me the important role that those of us in public office can play in improving the lives of families across our state. I look forward to finishing the work of this Administration with Governor Murphy and continuing to build on the legacy Lieutenant Governor Oliver fostered.”“We are very pleased with Governor Murphy’s selection of Tahesha Way as Sheila’s successor to be the next Lieutenant Governor,” said the Oliver Family. “Our beloved Sheila dedicated her heart and soul to serving the people of New Jersey –displaying an unwavering commitment to public service that we know Tahesha shares. We know Sheila would have been proud that Tahesha has been selected to carry out her legacy.”

Lieutenant Governor Way comes to the position with over two decades in public service. In addition to fulfilling her duties as Lieutenant Governor, she will also continue to serve as Secretary of State. During her tenure as Secretary of State, Way became the first Black person and first Secretary of State

In her acceptance speech, Way went out of her way to thank Passaic County Democratic Committee Chairman John Currie for bringing her into government two decades ago. Currie was in the audience.

from New Jersey to lead the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) as President, helping to defend democracy at both the state and national level. Prior to becoming Secretary of State, Secretary Way was an Administrative Law Judge for the State of New Jersey. She was elected to the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 2006, where she later served as the Freeholder Director in 2009. She also served as a Council Member for the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council. Lieutenant Governor Way is a graduate of Brown University. She also holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law at Charlottesville. She and her husband Charles have four children and reside in Wayne. The Honorable Sheila Y. Oliver served as New Jersey’s second Lieutenant Governor and the only woman of color to be elected to statewide office in New Jersey history. During her tenure as Lieutenant Governor, Ms. Oliver also served as the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, where she oversaw efforts to strengthen and expand initiatives for fair and affordable housing, community revitalization, homelessness prevention, local government services, and more. Before taking on the role as Lieutenant Governor, Ms. Oliver served in many key roles within the public, non-profit, and private sectors, most notably becoming the first African American woman in New Jersey history to serve as Assembly Speaker, and just the second in the nation’s history to lead a state legislative house. Murphy said Lieutenant Governor Oliver was “a trailblazer in every sense of the word and will always be remembered for her contributions to the communities of New Jersey, particularly communities of color.”

To mark the occasion, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) issued the following statement:

“I celebrate Tahesha Way’s appointment as New Jersey’s lieutenant governor. In Secretary Way, Gov. Murphy has chosen an exceptional leader, someone whose love of our state is manifest in her exemplary record of public service.

“As New Jersey’s top election official and the first Black person to lead the National Association of Secretaries of State, Secretary Way has worked tirelessly to protect the integrity of our elections and ensure access to the ballot box. She has also been a powerful force in supporting New Jersey’s tourism and leisure industries and building a stronger economy.

“I’m excited to work with Secretary Way in her new role as we serve the people of New Jersey with renewed purpose and dedication in honor of the remarkable life and legacy of the late Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver.”

Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19) was likewise upbeat.

“Secretary Way has an exemplary record of service and leadership,” said the speaker. “She has deep experience in county and state government in addition to her time as a judge. Her tenure as Secretary of State has been a model of effective administration and strong advocacy for voting rights. Secretary Way will be an outstanding Lieutenant Governor, following in the footsteps and honoring the legacy of Lieutenant Governor Oliver.”


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