New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who had expected to deliver his annual State of the State message to the Legislature yesterday, abandoned those plans and instead delivered a eulogy Assembly GOP Leader Alex DeCroce who collapsed and died late Monday night after a lengthy voting session. “As you know, I had intended to come before you today to give a report on the State of our State and I will fulfill that constitutional obligation by addressing you and our citizens more fully next week,” explained Christie. “For today, it is enough to say that the State of our State is getting better, but today our hearts are filled with sadness.”


Christie said the late Assemblyman devoted much of his life to the public and to making his home county of Morris and New Jersey a better place through business, as a partner with the late Congressman Dean Gallo, through his service to many charitable boards and foundations, through government service since 1989, as a member of the legislature.

The Governor said DeCroce was a leader on transportation issues, a former Chairman of the Transportation Committee, a sponsor of the laws to renew the Transportation Trust Fund and to dedicate the gas tax to transportation projects.

He says the late Assemblyman fought hard for the rights of victims of crime and their families.

“While Alex always had a smile and a kind word for everyone in this business, behind that genuine friendliness was the ferociousness of someone who had deeply held convictions,” said Christie. “Alex was a fighter. He knew how to win and lose in this arena gracefully. He knew how to wage a good battle, but unlike many in this business today, waging that good battle did not prevent Alex from inviting you out after the battle was waged for a steak and a drink.”

Christie said Alex had intended to speak yesterday. He explained, “I was given his planned remarks this morning when I arrived at the State House by his former colleague Rich Bagger. Here was his message: ‘We will solve more problems by working together than apart.’ Alex had planned to tell us to ‘reach across the aisle to work cooperatively toward solving our biggest problems.’ His closing words were to be: ‘We owe our constituents nothing less.’”

Christie’s closing words were, “God bless the good and kind soul of Alex DeCroce.”

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