N.J. Assemblyman Alex DeCroce Collapses, Dies In Statehouse After Long Legislative Session – State Of The State Address Postponed

Longtime Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, the leading Republican of the state’s lower house who represented Morris County for 23 years, collapsed and died in a bathroom inside the Statehouse late Monday night, just moments after the 214th Legislature held its final voting session.

DeCroce, 75, of Parsippany, began serving the 26th Legislative District in the Assembly in 1989 and was the Republican minority leader since 2003.

In a statement released early this morning, Gov. Chris Christie expressed sadness over the loss of “a dear friend, colleague and mentor” whom he has known for nearly 20 years and who helped give him his start in politics.

“He was one of the most kind, considerate and trustworthy people I have ever had the pleasure to know,” Christie said. “He was an enormously accomplished legislator and a tremendous servant to the people of New Jersey.”

He added: “This is an enormous loss for our state and for me personally.”

State Police Lt. Stephen Jones said a legislator died shortly before 11:30 p.m. in a first-floor restroom of the Statehouse. He said a physician on hand attended to the legislator but that he was found to be dead. Lawmakers said Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-Burlington), the Legislature’s only doctor, was the one who attended to DeCroce.

An emotional Christie — wearing a suit jacket over a Notre Dame T-shirt, no socks and loafers — showed up at the Statehouse at midnight with four staffers. He hugged Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex), Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and Sen. Steven Oroho (R-Essex) outside party offices and then held a meeting. Read more in Star Ledger.

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