The state is mourning the loss of former Lt. Governor Eunice Groark, who died overnight at the age of 80.

She was a Republican who made history when she was elected the state's number two job as an Independent in 1990.

Groark ran on her own for governor in 1990, again as an Independent after she and governor Lowell Weicker helped implement the state income tax.

The tax made Weicker unpopular, but Groark felt it made the state better.

Groark made headlines when she selected Audrey Rowe as her running mate in 1994, but she lost to John Rowland that November.

Channel 3 spoke to former Governor Weicker on Wednesday who said Groark was a wonderful friend, and he is heartbroken.

In a statement on Wednesday, Gov. Dannel Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman issued a statement that said "Eunice Groark holds an important place in Connecticut history as a woman, a state leader, and an advocate who didn’t shy away from tough decisions and fought for what she believed in. She was a strong and talented leader, one who helped shape Connecticut and set the foundation for work we are doing today to support our cities, invest in infrastructure, and forge stronger partnerships with business and industry. We are fortunate to have had her leadership and her vision. On behalf of the entire State of Connecticut, we send our deepest condolences to her friends, family, and colleagues.”?

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