RALEIGH: Rep. Jim Fulghum dies following cancer diagnosis - WNCN: News, Weather

Wake Co. Rep. Jim Fulghum dies following cancer diagnosis

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Wake County Rep. Jim Fulghum Wake County Rep. Jim Fulghum
RALEIGH, N.C. -

The daughter of Rep. Jim Fulghum says the lawmaker died Saturday, just weeks after he withdrew from his state Senate campaign.

Fulghum's daughter, Emily Roberson, said he passed away three weeks after a diagnosis of metastatic esophageal cancer. He announced on July 3 that he was withdrawing from his Senate campaign due to ongoing treatment for cancer.

"From my perspective as his daughter and legislative assistant, it was an honor to work with him, and to watch him work," Roberson said. "I think the most important thing he brought downtown was the courage of his convictions. When you have that, I think you have a real desire and ability to hear the other side of things without becoming adversarial."

His wife of 47 years, Mary Susan, said she was proud of him was he was elected to the House. A retired neurosurgeon, Fulghum was elected in 2012 to represent District 49 in Raleigh.

"[I] so enjoyed seeing him pursue something that gave him such great joy," she said.

Roberson added, "I think the thing he was most proud of during his time in the legislature was being able to apply his 35 years of experience as a physician to the healthcare issues we face in our state today. As the only physician in the General Assembly, I know he was humbled by and grateful for the opportunity to approach problems from a different perspective and to work with so many decent and earnest colleagues."

Molly Fulghum Heintz, Fulghum's eldest daughter, said funeral services will be held Wednesday at Edenton Street United Methodist in Raleigh. A visitation is planned for the evening before at the church, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

House Speaker Thom Tillis and Gov. Pat McCrory released statements Sunday expressing their remorse over Fulghum's passing.

"I am saddened to learn of the passing of Rep. Jim Fulghum this weekend," Tillis said. "The residents of Wake County were lucky to have Dr. Fulghum represent them -- his leadership as a legislator was second only to his compassion and expertise as a doctor serving his constituents and the state of North Carolina."

McCrory said, "Ann and I are sorry to learn of the death of Jim and our prayers go out to his family and friends as they navigate this very difficult time. As a medical doctor, Jim had a professional and personal passion for helping those in his community and state. Wake County and all of North Carolina lost a great man today."

On Thursday, the Wake County Republican Party's executive committee and Senate District 15 members selected John Alexander to replace Fulghum in the Senate race.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

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