RALEIGH — Jack Hawke, the veteran political strategist who helped build the modern North Carolina Republican Party, died Monday night after an extended illness.
Hawke, who was 72, was the leading architect of the campaign for GOP Gov Pat McCrory, and for previous Republican governor Jim Martin, as well. He also played an important role in countless other Republican campaigns. He was particularly close to former Lt. Gov. Jim Gardner, a three-time candidate for governor.
A cheerful political warrior who loved the game, Hawke was state Republican Party chairman from 1987-95, which was believed to make him the longest serving chairman in state history.
He also ran for Congress in 1968, losing a close race. More recently, he served as president of the Civitas Institute, a conservative advocacy group in Raleigh.