March 15, 2023

Rep. Watson Coleman Statement on the Passing of State Senator Ronald L. Rice

EWING, N.J. (March 15, 2023) — Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman issued the following statement on the passing of former New Jersey State Senator Ron Rice: 

“I am heartbroken to hear of Ron’s passing. New Jersey has lost a consummate public servant, and I have lost a dear friend.   

“Senator Rice exemplified everything a public servant should be. From his service in the Marines to his 36 years in the state legislature, his was a life lived for his community and his country. As New Jersey’s longest-serving Black lawmaker, he was an outspoken voice for the voiceless and never compromised on his convictions. 

“Always putting principles over politics, Senator Rice never backed down from a fight he knew to be morally right. His dedication to the Black and low-income people of our state never wavered, even when that meant being a thorn in the side of his fellow lawmakers. New Jersey is a better place because of him. 

“In tendering his resignation from the Legislature, Senator Rice called serving in public office ‘the honor of his life.’ To have called him a friend is among the greatest honors of mine. 

“The Rice family will be in my prayers during this difficult time. Rest in peace, dear friend.”