Senate Majority Conference Leader Vin Gopal released the following statement on the death of former State Sen. Ronald Rice:
“I am saddened by the news of my friend and former colleague, Senator Ronald Rice’s death and I wish to extend my condolences to his son Ronald C. Rice and all of the Rice family. New Jersey lost an iconic legislator and a powerhouse for social justice and racial equality today. Senator Ronald Rice was a fierce and unwavering legislator who never put politics ahead of the people in need.
“Senator Rice served in the state Senate for 36 years and was a mentor who taught me to never give up when you believe in something. He was someone I could always count on. The longest-serving Black member of the New Jersey Legislature, a former US Marine who served in Vietnam, a former police officer and former Newark City Councilman, Senator Rice generously shared his knowledge and wisdom. He was one of a kind and I admired his tenacity and principled determination. Ronald Rice will live on through his work as legislator and his love and dedication to the people whose lives he made better.”