James G. Martin

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For other people named James Martin, see James Martin (disambiguation).
James G. Martin
James G. Martin at Johnson AFB, Dec 29, 1988.JPEG
70th Governor of North Carolina
In office
January 5, 1985 – January 9, 1993
Lieutenant Robert B. Jordan
James C. Gardner
Preceded by Jim Hunt
Succeeded by Jim Hunt
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 9th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1985
Preceded by Charles R. Jonas
Succeeded by Alex McMillan
Personal details
Born (1935-12-11) December 11, 1935 (age 79)
Savannah, Georgia
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Dorothy Ann (McAulay) Martin
Residence Charlotte, North Carolina
Alma mater Davidson College
Princeton University
Profession Chemist, Professor

James Grubbs "Jim" Martin (born December 11, 1935) was the 70th Governor of the state of North Carolina. He served from 1985 to 1993. He was the second Republican elected to the office after Reconstruction, and the fifth overall. He is also the only Republican to serve two full terms as governor.

Early life and education[edit]

Jim Martin was born in Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia. He was subsequently raised in South Carolina, and now calls Charlotte home.

He graduated from Davidson College in 1957 with a Bachelors of Science degree. Shortly after graduation, on June 1, he married Dorothy Ann McAulay of Charlotte, North Carolina.[1] An avid tuba player, he was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity and Beta Theta Pi Social Fraternity while an undergraduate at Davidson.[citation needed]

After receiving his doctorate in chemistry from Princeton University in 1960, Martin served as an associate professor of chemistry at his alma mater Davidson College until 1972.[1]

Political life[edit]

Local[edit]

Martin was active in the Republican Party even when it barely existed in North Carolina. As a professor at Davidson, he advised the school's tiny Young Republicans chapter. In 1966, he was elected to the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners. He served for seven years, chairing the body from 1967 to 1968 and briefly in 1971. He was a president of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.

National[edit]

He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1972 representing the Charlotte-based 9th Congressional district. He served there for six terms. He served as a Ways and Means Committee member, and as a House Republican Research Committee chairman. He became the first elected official to receive the Charles Lathrop Parsons Award, given by the American Chemical Society for outstanding public service by an American chemist, in 1983.[2]

State[edit]

In 1984, with incumbent governor Jim Hunt leaving office due to the term limit, Martin ran for the Republican nomination and won. He defeated state attorney general Rufus Edmisten by a surprisingly wide nine-point margin. He was undoubtedly helped by the coattails from Ronald Reagan's landslide reelection victory. He was also helped when Lieutenant Governor Jimmy Green endorsed him after being defeated by Edmisten in the Democratic primary. Green was from eastern North Carolina, and his endorsement helped Martin win support among conservative Democrats in that part of the state.[3]

Gubernatorial accomplishments[edit]

One promise[edit]

While most political figures running for office were prone to make promises covering a wide range of issues from education to health care, Martin made one promise that garnered a lot of attention; he said he would address all of the priorities in the state, but his only promise (and no small task) was that construction on Interstate 40 from Raleigh to Wilmington, North Carolina would be finished before he left office. The long-neglected and last leg of I-40 from Barstow, California would open up the southeastern coastal area to the rest of the state. He was true to his promise; the last unfinished leg of I-40 was finished before the end of his first term.

Re-election[edit]

Martin was easily reelected in 1988, defeating Lieutenant Governor Bob Jordan by 13 points. In so doing, he became the only member of his party to have been elected to two terms as governor of North Carolina. He was part of a 28-year trend of Governors of North Carolina who were named James, having been preceded and succeeded by Jim Hunt, who in turn was preceded in his first term by James Holshouser.

Subsequent career[edit]

In 1993 he retired from political life and became chairman of the board of the James Cannon Research Center of Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. In 2012, he was appointed to lead an investigation into academic improprieties at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Poff, Jan-Michael, ed. (2000). Addresses and Public Papers of James Baxter Hunt Jr. Governor of North Carolina Vol. III 1993–1997. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. pp. 4–5. ISBN 0-86526-289-6. 
  2. ^ "Charles Lathrop Parsons Award". American Chemical Society. Retrieved September 10, 2012. 
  3. ^ Political grudges are nothing new, Carolina Journal Online, John Hood, 11 October 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  4. ^ WRAL: Former governor to dig deeper into UNC academics

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles R. Jonas
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 9th congressional district

1973–1985
Succeeded by
Alex McMillan
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Hunt
Governor of North Carolina
1985–1993
Succeeded by
Jim Hunt