Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with James E. Holshouser Jr., March 13, 1998. Interview C-0328-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Holhouser's relationship with Jim Hunt

Holshouser had a good relationship with his lieutenant governor, Jim Hunt, a Democrat who succeeded Holshouser as governor. Hunt needed to give his Democratic allies red meat from time to time, Holshouser remembers, but he could rely on Hunt to help him with his agenda when necessary.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with James E. Holshouser Jr., March 13, 1998. Interview C-0328-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACK FLEER:
Another person or position rather that you have a relationship within the executive branch as governor is the Lt. Governor. In your case that was Jim Hunt. How would you describe that relationship?
JAMES E. HOLSHOUSER, JR.:
It was good. I have told a lot of people that and they don't understand it and I have teased him about it. Jim would stand up about once a month and would just give me hell about something. I mean he had to keep his Democrat credentials in. He was getting ready to run for governor and somebody was going to challenge him in the primary. He couldn't dare to be a Republican pawn. But most of the things that he stood up and talked about weren't really all that important. While nobody loves to be fussed at, everybody wants to be universally loved. But when the chips were down, I could call and tell him about a bill that either even needed to be killed or needed to be passed and he would help. We talked and had lunch or breakfast periodically, not as frequently say as the appropriation chairmen in both houses. But it was by and large a good relationship and it made it easy when he got elected to make that transition period to let him put his budget imprint on the budget that was going in 1977. He and I didn't agree on everything and still wouldn't necessarily. Right now, he probably has moved to the right where I am where as before he was well to the left of where I was. I mean I have stayed in the center, and everybody else has moved around me. Don't know what has happened. I find it totally confusing at times.
JACK FLEER:
But you say that you actually could and did call upon him for assistance in the legislature.
JAMES E. HOLSHOUSER, JR.:
Yes, and I didn't try to make an everyday habit of that. I mean you sort of picked your places where it makes a difference sometimes where you can't see any other way to get it stop. But I don't remember being turned down any. He has asked me since during his term as governor to do several things that were important to him and I have done them all.