Ex-North Carolina Gov. Jim Holshouser dies at 78

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Jim Holshouser, who was North Carolina’s first Republican governor elected in the 20th century, has died. He was 78.

In a statement released by Gov. Pat McCrory’s office, Holshouser’s family said he had been in declining health before he died Monday at First Health of the Carolinas Medical Center in Pinehurst.

Holshouser was a state legislator who became North Carolina’s youngest governor at age 38 when he was swept into office by President Richard Nixon’s 1972 electoral landslide. He served a single term.

He is remembered for establishing rural health clinics, laying the plan for a criminal justice information system and reorganizing state government. He spoke against the death penalty for religious reasons.

Holshouser was an early supporter of McCrory, who became the state’s first GOP governor of this century.

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