TRENTON – Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce died last night, shortly after the conclusion of the final voting session of the 214th Legislature. A 75-year-old who lived in Parsippany, DeCroce represented Morris County for 23 years.
“Tonight I lost a dear friend, colleague and mentor – Assembly Republican Leader Alex De Croce,” said Gov. Chris Christie in a statement. “I have known Alex for nearly twenty years. He helped to give me my start in elective politics in Morris County in 1993. He was one of the most kind, considerate and trustworthy people I have ever had the pleasure to know.”
“Alex was a true leader for the Republican caucus in the Assembly, and was loved and respected by legislators of both chambers, on both sides of the aisle,” said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R-Union.) “He worked tirelessly for his constituents, for our party, and to make sure this institution never lost sight of who it was supposed to serve- the people of New Jersey.”
Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-Union) said of DeCroce, “He was a model statesman who led our caucus with grace and integrity. Alex was a mentor to many of us, and his wisdom and kindness made this state a better place.”
“New Jersey has lost a true public servant in Alex DeCroce,” said Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). “I first met him when I entered the Legislature and was assigned to the Assembly Transportation Committee he chaired. I came to know him as an honorable adversary whose disagreements were never disagreeable and whose motivation was always to do his best for our state and the constituents he represented.”
“It’s impossible to even picture the New Jersey General Assembly without having Alex DeCroce seated at his aisle desk advocating for his beliefs and constituents,” said Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan (D-Union). “I had the honor of sitting across from him for two years, and I can tell you that even when things got tough, Alex DeCroce was always a gentleman. His vast experience and understanding of New Jersey was always helpful. His leadership was always steady. His humor was always present.”
Christie was scheduled to give his annual State of the State speech this afternoon, but instead the governor will meet his constitutional requirement to address the Legislature with brief remarks to honor DeCroce at 1 p.m.
New lawmakers will be sworn in with a smaller-than-originally-planned ceremony, in keeping with the somber mood of the day.
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