Durham County

Congressman G.K. Butterfield honored the late North Carolina State Senator Ralph A. Hunt Sr. in Washington

Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-Durham, delivered remarks on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives that honored the life of the late North Carolina State Senator Ralph A. Hunt Sr.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life and work of a dear friend, a North Carolina giant: The Honorable Ralph A. Hunt, Sr.,” Butterfield said. “He introduced the legislation that changed the election law in North Carolina to allow a 40 percent threshold to avoid a runoff in a primary.”

Sen. Hunt was involved in politics at the local and state levels for many years, serving five terms from 1985 to 1993 as a Democrat in the state Senate, where he held leadership roles as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and as majority whip.

“Ralph’s career in public service should serve as a marker we can all strive to meet. He was a visionary who helped bring the Durham community to be the economic leader that it is today,” Butterfield said. “Mr. Speaker, the City of Durham, the County of Durham, and the State of North Carolina all shine brighter because of the life and work of Senator Ralph Hunt Sr.”

Family members of the late Sen. Hunt wrote in email to The Herald-Sun that among his noteworthy achievements in the Senate, Sen. Hunt sponsored and introduced a bill to “avoid run-offs in contested primary elections in North Carolina from 50% +1 to 40%.”

Sen. Hunt grew up during an era of both legal and forced segregation in the South.

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker,” Butterfield said. “I yield back.”

Colin Warren-Hicks: 919-419-6636, @CWarrenHicks

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