Tahesha Way selected to succeed Oliver as lieutenant governor

Tahesha Way, an attorney who has served with distinction as secretary of state throughout Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration, has been selected by the governor to succeed the late Sheila Oliver as lieutenant governor, numerous outlets reported late Thursday.

Way’s selection is immediate — it does not require confirmation by the state Senate. It will be announced Friday.

Way’s current role leading the Department of State brings a connection to a number of issues in the state — making her an ideal choice to move into the lieutenant governor role.

As secretary of state, Way, 51, leads a department with a diverse portfolio — including serving as the state’s top election official as well as overseeing all agencies connected to tourism and entertainment. She was serving as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State.

She is expected to keep the secretary of state title and duties, too — meaning the governor also would have to select someone to replace Oliver in her other official role as commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.

Before going into state government, Way had various roles at the local level, including serving as the freeholder director for Passaic County.

Way also brings a stellar academic background to the role: She earned her undergraduate degree at Brown University before earning a law degree at the University of Virginia.

Way will be the third LG in state history, following Kim Guadagno (who served for eight years under Gov. Chris Christie) and Oliver, who passed away Aug. 1 at the age of 71.

The news has been reported by a number of outlets, including the New Jersey Globe and New Jersey Advance Media.