Governor Phil Murphy today announced Secretary of State Tahesha L. Way as the next Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey. In a ceremony in the New Jersey Executive State House, Lieutenant Governor Way was sworn into her new role, which she assumes after the unexpected passing of Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver on August 1, 2023.
“Sheila Oliver was the greatest partner in government I could have ever hoped for, and she leaves incredibly big shoes to fill,” said Governor 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 Lieutenant Governor Tahesha Way. “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 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.