New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy made an announcement today regarding the appointment of the new Lieutenant Governor. In a solemn ceremony held at the New Jersey Executive State House, Secretary of State Tahesha L. Way was sworn into her new role. This follows the unexpected passing of Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver on August 1, 2023. Governor Murphy expressed his gratitude for Oliver’s partnership in the government, acknowledging the immense task of filling her shoes. He further commended Way for her exceptional work within their administration and her efforts in boosting New Jersey’s tourism economy, supporting small businesses, and improving the state’s election system.
Lieutenant Governor Tahesha Way expressed her deep respect for Oliver, considering her a close friend and mentor. She expressed gratitude for being chosen as Oliver’s successor and emphasized the importance of public office in shaping the lives of New Jersey’s families. Way looks forward to continuing the work of the current administration alongside Governor Murphy and building upon Oliver’s legacy. The Oliver Family also expressed their pleasure with Way’s appointment, highlighting her shared commitment to public service and dedication to the people of New Jersey.
Leading with over two decades of experience in public service, Lieutenant Governor Way brings a wealth of knowledge to her new position. In addition to serving as Lieutenant Governor, she will continue in her role as Secretary of State. Way’s accomplishments include being the first Black person and first Secretary of State from New Jersey to serve as President of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS). This position allowed her to defend democracy at both the state and national levels. Before becoming Secretary of State, Way served as an Administrative Law Judge for the State of New Jersey and held various other key roles within the public sector.
Way is a graduate of Brown University, having also earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law at Charlottesville. Alongside her husband, Charles, Way resides in Wayne and is a proud parent to four children.
Sheila Y. Oliver, the honorable former Lieutenant Governor, made significant contributions to New Jersey as the state’s second Lieutenant Governor and the only woman of color to be elected to statewide office. Her tenure also involved serving as the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, where she oversaw various initiatives focused on fair and affordable housing, community revitalization, and homelessness prevention. Oliver’s achievements extend beyond her role as Lieutenant Governor, making history as the first African American woman in New Jersey to serve as Assembly Speaker.
Governor Murphy spoke with great admiration for Oliver’s legacy and emphasized the importance of carrying it forward. He expressed his pride in appointing Tahesha Leila Way as the next Lieutenant Governor, highlighting her stellar record of accomplishments and attesting to her readiness to assume the role. Way’s dedication to public service, her character, and extensive experience in various levels of government make her an excellent choice for this position.
Governor Murphy concluded his announcement by stating that flags have returned to full staff across the state, symbolizing the transition from mourning to a renewed commitment to fulfilling Oliver’s legacy. He called on New Jerseyans to work together as a unified family, pushing for a stronger and fairer state that encompasses the needs of each family. He urged the continuation of Oliver’s advocacy for the voiceless, underserved, and historically marginalized communities, highlighting Way’s potential to champion these causes.
The appointment of Lieutenant Governor Way marks a significant step forward for New Jersey, ensuring the continuation of the administration’s goals and the safeguarding of the late Lieutenant Governor Oliver’s legacy. Tahesha Way’s extensive experience, profound dedication to public service, and exceptional leadership qualities position her as a valuable asset to New Jersey’s government, ready to serve the people of the state with utmost dedication and integrity.