Frank Rouse remembered for leading NC GOP in 1970s

MOREHEAD CITY, NC (AP) -- Republicans are recalling ex-state GOP Chairman Frank Rouse as a trailblazer who helped turn North Carolina into a competitive two-party state.

A memorial service was scheduled Monday for Rouse, who died Saturday at Carteret General Hospital at age 72. Jane Rouse says her husband had been diagnosed with bladder cancer and had a heart attack last week.

Rouse was Republican Party chairman in 1972 when Jesse Helms was elected to the U.S. Senate and Jim Holshouser elected as the GOP's first 20th century governor in the state. Jane Rouse says her husband helped recruit Helms.

Current GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer told The News & Observer of Raleigh that Rouse devoted most of his adult life to the party. Other survivors include a son Franklin, who is an insurance agent in Leland, daughter and granddaughter.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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