NC leaders praise former Gov. Jim Holshouser’s leadership, kindness

June 18, 2013 

“His counsel was invaluable. Compassion was the foundation of Governor Holshouser’s life. He was a champion of education. He made health care available in counties that didn’t have doctors. And he provided historic professional opportunities to women and minorities. North Carolina is a better place because of his leadership and heart.”

Gov. Pat McCrory

“Gov. Holshouser was one of the kindest and most sincere people to ever become involved in North Carolina politics. Staying true to his mountain roots, Jim would always shoot you straight and stay true to his word. His lifelong dedication to service to our state was defined by many outstanding accomplishments that made North Carolina a better place to live. To those of us who knew him personally, Jim was a trusted counselor, leader, and, most importantly, a great friend. Today, all North Carolinians have lost one of the true statesmen of our time.”

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr

“Jim was such a good man, and I’ve long admired his ability to work with Democrats and Republicans. His moderate, consensus-building approach made him an effective leader who brought health clinics to underserved areas, bolstered our public education system and backed important legislation to protect our environment. Jim served during a time of great change in our nation. As our state and our country worked to fulfill our ideals as a land of opportunity for all, he appointed African-Americans to key positions and named the first woman to a cabinet-level position. Jim leaves behind many contributions to North Carolina, and my thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s family during this difficult time.”

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan

“I think he was one of the last quintessential statesman who was focused on trying to bring people together and build consensus He was a just a very kind person. It was tough dealing with all the illness throughout his life. What I appreciated most about him was his humility. He never tooted his own horn.”

Former Gov. Mike Easley

“No one needs to think he wasn’t a tough Republican. He was. But he supported public education. When he became governor he raised teacher pay to 27th in America. We had been down near the bottom. He put in public kindergartens. He put in the Coastal Area Management Act to protect our coast. He really believed in building the state. In later years, he was one of the great leaders for the university system.”

Former Gov. Jim Hunt

“On any issue of long-term importance to the University or higher education in this state, his counsel was sought out and highly valued. He was seen as the elder statesman of the board of Governors, one with a gift for simply, but eloquently getting to the heart of a complicated issue, bringing together diverse points of view, and guiding his colleagues to consensus or resolution.”

UNC President Tom Ross

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