NJ Assembly's GOP Leader Dies At Statehouse

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The New Jersey Assembly's top Republican leader has died at the Statehouse on the final day of the legislative session.

Seventy-five-year-old Alex DeCroce collapsed in a men's room around 11 p.m. Monday night.

Assemblyman Herb Conaway, a physician, administered to DeCroce at the scene. Gov. Chris Christie issued a statement confirming DeCroce's death about 2 ½ 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.