The widow of New Jersey Assemblyman Alex DeCroce was picked Wednesday to fill his seat just two weeks after the GOP leader died at the statehouse on the final day of the legislative session.
DeCroce (R-Morris County) was a close friend and mentor of Governor Chris Christie, and his death delayed the State of the State speech.
Betty Lou DeCroce, 59, easily defeated local attorney Larry Casha at a special convention of the Morris County Republican Committee in a vote of 120 in Mountain Lakes Wednesday night. She will have to win a primary in June and a general election in November to keep the seat.
She must now resign her post at the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
Alex DeCroce died suddenly at the end of the lame-duck legislative session that was working into the early hours of January 10 in the bathroom in the statehouse. Christie appeared the next day before the legislature, on its first day of the 2012 session, but gave a eulogy instead of his State of the State address.