James G. Martin
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|James G. Martin|
|70th Governor of North Carolina|
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
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1985
|Preceded by||Charles R. Jonas|
|Succeeded by||Alex McMillan|
December 11, 1935 |
|Spouse(s)||Dorothy Ann (McAulay) Martin|
|Residence||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|Alma mater||Davidson College
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
He graduated from Davidson College in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Shortly after graduation, on June 1, he married Dorothy Ann McAulay of Charlotte, North Carolina. 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.
Martin was active in the Republican Party even when it barely existed in North Carolina. Indeed, only a few living North Carolina Republicans have been members of the party longer than Martin. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- "NC's presidential endorsement list". NewsObserver.
- 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.
- "Charles Lathrop Parsons Award". American Chemical Society. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- Political grudges are nothing new, Carolina Journal Online, John Hood, 11 October 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- WRAL: Former governor to dig deeper into UNC academics
- News & Observer: An odd path to the top at the Wayback Machine (archived October 12, 2008)
- Congressional Biography
|United States House of Representatives|
Charles R. Jonas
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 9th congressional district
|Governor of North Carolina