State Senator Jim Forrester of Stanley, NC has passed away at the age of 74. Best known in recent years for his advocacy for the Defense of Marriage Amendment, Forrester was a former physician and retired Air Force general who represented several counties in the Piedmont area for 11 terms. From the Gaston Gazette:
A longtime North Carolina state senator who represented Gaston and Lincoln counties for two decades died Monday at Gaston Memorial Hospital.
Sen. Jim Forrester was pronounced dead about noon after suffering complications from cranial bleeding, said his sister-in-law, Sally Beach. He had been admitted to the Gastonia facility on Saturday morning, then lost consciousness Sunday morning, prompting family members to be called into town from across the country.
“It’s very sad,” said Beach. “He was a good man.”
Statements from statewide political figures expressed their condolences:
“Dr. Jim Forrester’s life embodied the American Dream. Through the years, he received numerous awards from groups that covered the ideological spectrum recognizing his outstanding legislative work. I will remember him most for his dedicated and thoughtful service as he worked to make sure his constituents had the chance to fulfill the American Dream.” Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham)“Sorry to hear about the loss of Sen. Forrester. Thank you for your 20 years of service to our state, my prayers are with the family.” Rep. Marcus Brandon (D-Guilford) via Twitter.“Jim was a dear friend who I respected and admired. He had a long and distinguished career serving the people of North Carolina. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the North Carolina Republican Party are with Mary Frances and the Forrester family tonight.”-State GOP chair Robin Hayes.“We had the honor to work with Senator Forrester during his tenure in the state Senate and know that he always worked hard for the citizens of his district. Although we come from different political parties and often had differing opinions, we hold great respect for Jim and called him a friend. We worked with him closely on the Health and Human Services Committee over the years and as a doctor he brought a necessary level of expertise to Senate deliberations on health care matters. We are deeply saddened to hear of his passing and our thoughts go out to his family. He will be missed in the state Senate.” Democratic Senators Bill Purcell and Martin Nesbitt.“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of State Senator Jim Forrester. I knew Jim Forrester as a crusader for right versus wrong. He stood his ground on issues that he believed. Senator Jim Forrester was a distinguished and honorable man who was a retired General in the US Air Force, State Senator, County Commissioner, Physician, Husband and Father.While Senator Jim Forrester’s death is a cause of sadness, his legacy will live on in the state Senate and in the laws he worked so hard to pass. My thoughts and prayers are with Mary Frances and the entire Forrester family.” State GOP Vice Chair Wayne King.