The Republican leader of the New Jersey Assembly collapsed and died at the Statehouse in Trenton on Monday, the final day of the legislative session, The Associated Press reported.
Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, 75, collapsed in a men’s room at the Statehouse and was pronounced dead at the scene. Governor Chris Christie, a personal friend of the lawmaker, confirmed the death of his fellow Republican.
“Tonight I lost a dear friend, colleague and mentor,” Christie said in a statement. “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. This is an enormous loss for our State and for me personally.”
DeCroce’s death shocked lawmakers and legislative staff who had been working with him all evening as the State Legislature was ironing out the details on a flurry of last-minute bills, according to the AP.
CNN reported that DeCroce was the Republican leader in the New Jersey General Assembly since 2003.