SUMMIT, NJ - Elizabeth "Betty" Cox, longtime chairman of the Summit Republican Committee and former state assembly member, has died. She was 85.

Cox was born on Sept. 20, 1927. She was chairman of the Summit Republican Committee for 13 years, a women's rights activist and founder of the Union County Women's Political Caucus and the National Statewide for New Jersey Women’s Political Caucus.

Cox served in the Assembly from November 1971 to December 1972 and worked for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs from 1991 to 2002.

Close friend and longtime business associate Dorothy Burger said she will deeply miss Cox, but she will treasure the years they spent together.  In 1993, she and Cox became partners of Information Specialist Company, which Cox started. They also attended many continuing education classes together throughout the country.

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“I personally had the great privilege to know, work with, learn and become business partners in the New Jersey Research and Information Company with Elizabeth L. Cox.,” Burger said.

They met in 1995 as neighbors in Summit and Cox at the time was the Republican Committeewoman and Chairwomen of the Summit Republican City Committee.

“I was taking a walk, we met in passing and my life changed forever,” Burger said.

Cox asked her to attend the next SRCC meeting where Burger was elected secretary and her involvement grew from there. Burger is currently director of volunteers of the Union County Republicans and the chair of the Statewide Republican Task Force and the delegate for 2013.

Burger said Cox had the ability to represent women, be the Republican representative, but also be a friend and mentor to all women on both sides of the aisle.

“I and those who had the privilege to know her can tell you, you learned much more from Elizabeth than you could possibly learn in a classroom,” she said. “We were fortunate to have had the privilege to know, love and work with Elizabeth. I will truly miss her every day.”

Union County Republican Chairman Phil Morin issued the following statement on Cox's passing:

“Betty has held more positions in the Republican organizations in Summit, Union County and the State Republican Party than probably any Republican in Union County. Betty devoted her life to our Republican party.  Her knowledge of party history and parliamentary procedure had no equal. She will be missed by all and her legacy will live on through the countless number of Republican political leaders, officials, volunteers and supporters she counseled and advised."