By: Savannah Scarborough, Follow South Jersey Intern
SOUTH JERSEY – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently announced the commissioning of The Honorable Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver’s official portrait will display in the New Jersey State House.
“As we continue to remember the life and service of Lieutenant Governor Oliver, I am deeply moved to announce the commissioning of a portrait that will stand as a testament to her legacy,” said Governor Murphy.
Sheila Oliver was born and raised in Newark, NJ, and went on to become the second Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey from 2018 until her recent death in August 2023.
To commemorate Sheila Oliver, Governor Murphy ordered flags to state facilities that will fly at half-staff for one month and announced that Sheila Oliver would lie in state in the rotunda of the New Jersey State House and the Essex County Historic Courthouse in the days preceding her public funeral.
Alongside Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver’s portrait will be the commissioned portrait of Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno. Kim Guadagno served alongside Chris Christie as New Jersey’s first Lieutenant Governor from January 19, 2010, to January 16, 2018. Sheila Oliver later succeeded her.
Governor Phil Murphy stated his belief that Lieutenant governors deserve to have their commissioned portraits hung and displayed to give them the recognition they deserve.
“Lieutenant Governors play pivotal roles in gubernatorial administrations, but to date, unlike former governors, they have not been recognized with official portraits,” continued Governor Murphy. “It is time to address this shortcoming and set a new standard to commemorate their time in public service. I couldn’t think of two more deserving candidates for these portraits than these two exceptional women who have served our state with distinction for decades.”
Governor Murphy seeks to establish a precedent so that all Lieutenant Governors will be honored for their work in the future.
In the coming months, the Oliver family and former Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno will work with the Governor’s Office to choose which portrait artist will create the portraits.
“As we continue to grapple with the passing of our beloved Sheila, our hearts swell with pride and gratitude for the lasting mark she left on New Jersey,” said the Oliver Family. “This portrait will stand as a tribute not only to her remarkable career of public service, but also as a source of inspiration for generations to come. This is a testament to her enduring legacy and unwavering commitment to her community and state.”
“In light of her passing, I am incredibly grateful to Governor Murphy for his decision to commission and display our portraits in the State House and humbled that our time in office will be recognized with such an honor. I’m deeply proud of my time in public service and honored to have shared this journey with Sheila. May she Rest in Peace,” said former Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno.
The portraits’ creation is expected to take approximately one year, and the official portrait unveilings will be scheduled once the portraits are complete.
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