Christie delays State of the State to eulogize DeCroce

    Instead of giving his State of the State address at 1 p.m., N.J. Gov. Chris Christie will eulogize Alex DeCroce. The New Jersey Assembly’s top Republican leader died at the Statehouse on the final day of the legislative session.

    DeCroce, 75, collapsed in a men’s room around 11 p.m. last night.

    WNYC will stream the speech.

    Assemblyman Herb Conaway, a physician, administered to DeCroce at the scene. Christie issued a statement confirming DeCroce’s death about 2 1/2 hours later. An emotional Christie returned to the capital around midnight and was seen hugging and receiving condolences from Assembly and Senate leaders.

    DeCroce, of Parsippany-Troy Hills, served in the Assembly since 1989 and became the GOP’s leader there in 2003. His district includes parts of Morris and Passaic counties.

    The Legislature was scaling back plans for Tuesday’s reorganization and Christie was postponing his State of the State speech indefinitely.

    WHYY’s Phil Gregory will talk more about DeCroce and Christie’s speech on NewsWorks Tonight at 6 p.m. on WHYY-FM (90.9).

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