N.C. House Rep. Jerry Carter died early Tuesday morning from a rare bowel disease. He was 66.
House Speaker Tim Moore said in a news release that he was “heartbroken and devastated” by Carter’s sudden death.
“Representative Carter was an extraordinary legislator and a devoted husband to his wife, who he loved dearly,” Moore wrote. “He was the chaplain of the NC State Highway Patrol and was a man of deep faith and faithful prayer.”
Carter, a Republican, represented most of Rockingham County.
Moore said Carter was deeply passionate about Rockingham and his constituents.
“We will feel Jerry’s loss deeply at the NC General Assembly, and my prayers are with Jerry’s family as they grieve this great loss in the days ahead,” Moore said.
House Republican Caucus Leader Stephen Wiley confirmed Carter’s death to The News & Observer and said it stemmed from complications of Carter’s rare bowel disease.
Rockingham Now reported last month that Carter was suffering from idiopathic myointimal hyperplasia of the mesenteric veins.
Carter had been in and out of the hospital throughout the summer and was being treated at Duke University Medical Center in Durham.
Rockingham County officials sent out social media posts upon learning about Carter’s death.
“North Carolina Representative Jerry Carter passed away this morning,” said Rockingham County Register of Deeds Ben Curtis. “Please keep his wife Brenda Bruton Carter and his family in your prayers.”
The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office also posted about Carter’s death.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and colleagues of NC Representative Jerry Carter, who passed away this morning,” the sheriff’s office posted to Facebook. “Jerry served our community for years, not only as our State Representative, but as Pastor of Reidsville Baptist Church and Chaplain for the NC State Highway Patrol.”
Carter was in his second term in office. He served as chairman of the Family, Children and Aging Policy committee, vice-chairman of the local government-land use, planning and development committee.
Carter’s colleagues also began posting on social media about Carter’s death.
“I was deeply saddened to learn about the passing of my colleague Jerry Carter,” Rep. Zack Hawkins wrote. “He was incredibly kind and most importantly he loved serving the people of North Carolina. Tracey and I send prayers and condolences to his family.”
N.C. Republican Party Executive Director Michael Whatley also posted condolences.
“Terribly saddened to hear of the passing of NC Rep. Jerry Carter,” Whatley wrote. “On behalf of the entire @NCGOP, I wish Godspeed to a good man and offer prayers to his family.”
Wiley said that Rockingham County’s Republican Party executive committee members, who serve in Carter’s district, will get to nominate Carter’s replacement.
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