NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has named Secretary of State Tahesha Way as the state's next lieutenant governor on Friday.
Way succeeds the late Sheila Oliver, who died last month after an extended illness.
Way said to have been selected as Oliver's successor is one of the greatest honors of her career.
"I considered Lieutenant Governor Oliver a close friend and mentor - someone I looked to for guidance to better serve the people of New Jersey," Way said. "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."
The 51-year-old former Passaic County freeholder has served as Gov. Murphy's secretary of state since he took office in 2018 and is expected to remain in that role.
No senate confirmation is required, and Chief Justice Stuart Rabner was able to immediately swear Way into office.
Murphy made the formal announcement at the statehouse in Trenton.
"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."
Way is the state's third lieutenant governor and the second Black woman to hold the post.
She is married to former New York Giants fullback and current NFL executive Charles Way.
Murphy is term limited, and Way is not expected to run for his seat in 2025.
Murphy had until Sept. 15 to name Oliver's successor.
"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."
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