Former state Sen. Wilma Cummings Woodard, who represented Wake County from 1976 to 1986, died on Tuesday at her home in Beaufort after a long illness, according to one of her sons. She was 78.
Woodard ran for the Democratic nomination to U.S. House in 1986, but narrowly lost to David Price, who went on to win the election.
She and her husband, Warden Lewis Woodard Jr., who passed away in 2000, lived in Garner where he started a dental practice. That’s where she began her political career: serving on the Garner planning board, and then being recruited to run for state House.
She ended up serving four years in the House and six in the Senate, before making the bid for Congress.
There will be a celebration of her life at her home on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the scholarship in her name at the N.C. State Foundation.