TARBORO, N.C. (AP) - A longtime North Carolina Democratic legislator and budget writer who focused on education, technology and the rural economy has died.
The brother of nine-term Rep. Joe Tolson of Edgecombe County says he died Sunday at Vidant Edgecombe Hospital in Tarboro at age 77. Norris Tolson said Monday his younger brother died after suffering a breathing and lung ailment for the past couple of years.
Joe Tolson served in the legislature from 1997 through 2014, rising to become a co-chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Norris Tolson - himself a former Cabinet secretary - says his brother should be remembered as a strong ally for rural North Carolina, education, children and learning technology.
After leaving the legislature, Tolson served on the board of former Gov. Beverly Perdue's Digital Learning Institute.