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State Senator Jim Forrester Dies

Jim Forrester
NC General Assembly

A state senator who led the fight against gay marriage has died. Republican Jim Forrester of Gaston County suffered health problems before checking in to a hospital this weekend.

Forrester was a retired physician who was elected to the General Assembly in 1991. He often worked on health issues with other state lawmakers. Earlier this year, Forrester became deputy Senate leader,a ceremonial post given to him when Republicans took over the chamber. But in recent years, he became known for his drive to secure an amendment banning gay marriage in the state constitution. The measure was approved by the Republican-led legislature in September and will go before voters next year. Forrester was born in Scotland and came to this country as a toddler. He graduated from New Hanover High School in 1954. He was a surgeon in the air force and retired as a one-star general. Later, Forrester practiced family medicine in Mount Holly. Jim Forrester was 74 years old.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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