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Mel Evans, Associated Press
FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011 file photograph, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks about judges' pensions, as he stands with a group of supporters, including state Rep. Alex DeCroce, front left, R-Morris Plains, in Trenton, N.J. Late Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, DeCroce collapsed and died at the Statehouse after the legislature wrapped-up the last day of their session. He was 75. Gov. Christie has postponed his State Of the State address that was scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 10.

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will remember a friend instead of delivering his State of the State address as a new legislative session begins on a somber note Tuesday.

The top Republican in the Assembly collapsed and died as the 214th legislative session came to an end Monday night. Assemblyman Alex DeCroce had represented parts of Morris and Passaic counties. He was 75.

Christie, obviously shaken, returned to the capital around midnight to hug lawmakers. He wore a sport coat over a T-shirt.

The Assembly and Senate have scaled back plans to swear in new members as the 215th legislative session convenes Tuesday.

Christie will deliver remarks about DeCroce, whom he has known for 20 years.

There's no word when the governor will deliver the State of the State address.