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Longtime state senator Jim Forrester dies

Eleven-term lawmaker Jim Forrester, a leader of the effort to ban gay marriages in North Carolina and a champion of conservative causes, died Monday of an apparent stroke,
Forrester, 74, a Stanley Republican who represented Lincoln County in the N.C. Senate, died at a Gastonia hospital where he had been admitted Saturday after falling ill while in the North Carolina mountains.  By Sunday, his condition had deteriorated and he was placed on life support as his family gathered to say their goodbyes. He passed away about noon on Monday.
For many years Forrester fought to put a one-man, one-woman marriage amendment on the ballot, but fell short of the support needed for the measure to go to the voters. When Republicans took control of the Senate last year, Forrester pressed again for the marriage amendment, and it was approved in September. Voters will decide next May whether marriage should be defined as one-man, one-woman only.
Forrester was praised for his leadership and for his commitment to causes he championed.
“Senator Forrester will be missed. His leadership for our state while serving in the minority party for years should be noted and appreciated,” said State Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln. “He stuck to his beliefs and ultimately saw those prevail in 2010 when the GOP made history and took both houses.”
Forrester was a frequent visitor in the Denver area, attending both political and civic events.
State GOP vice chairman Wayne King of Cleveland County said Forrester was a “crusader for right versus wrong.  He stood his ground on issues that he believed.”
Lincoln County Republican Party Chairman Bradley Putnam said that everyone who worked with Forrester knew him as an “honorable and understanding man.”
Sen. Forrester will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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