George Holmes, former state representative from Yadkin County, dies

January 2, 2010

By John Hinton | Journal Reporter

Published: December 31, 2009

State Rep. George Holmes, who represented Yadkin and parts of other northwestern counties in the General Assembly for 32 years, died this morning at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Holmes, 80, announced in March 2008 that he would not run for re-election because of health problems. He said he planned to spend more time at his house in Hamptonville with his wife, Barbara, a retired schoolteacher.

David Diamont of Pilot Mountain, a former state representative from Surry County, served with Holmes in the state legislature. Diamont said he was saddened to hear of Holmes’ death.

“George Holmes was a good man,” Diamont said. “He became a powerful and well-respected member of our district in the General Assembly. He was a solid individual who always smiled. He knew the issues and he was a fine gentleman.”

Diamont laid the groundwork for a new arena at Appalachian State University, he said. But it was Holmes, when he became co-chairman of the appropriations committee, who got the money allocated for the project.

Later, ASU officials named the arena the George M. Holmes Convocation Center.

Holmes was first elected in 1974, and his only defeat came in 1976. He was elected again in 1987 and every two years after that. He ran unopposed in 2004 and 2006.

Former NC State House Member George Holmes Dies

January 1, 2010

Winston-Salem, NC — Former longtime state Rep. George Holmes, a key budget leader while Republicans controlled the House in the mid-1990s, died Thursday morning, officials said. He was 80.

Holmes died at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, hospital spokeswoman Bonnie Davis said, but she could provide no other information. The House clerk’s office said funeral arrangements were incomplete.

Holmes, a former real estate company president from Yadkin County, was first elected to the House in 1974 and became one of just nine Republicans in the 120-member chamber, the result of GOP defeats in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

Holmes lost two years later, but returned to the chamber in 1978 and didn’t leave for 30 more years. He rose through the Republican ranks, serving as the minority whip and minority party joint caucus leader in the early 1980s.

When Republicans took over the House for the first time in the 20th century in 1995, Holmes became senior co-chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, where he served for four years and was the chamber’s chief budget negotiator with Senate Democrats.

“George Holmes was a good man,” former Democratic state Rep. David Diamont of Surry County told the Winston-Salem Journal. “He was a solid individual who always smiled. He knew the issues and he was a fine gentleman.”

Holmes decided not to run for re-election in 2008 after being hospitalized several times over the previous two years.
Holmes went to Appalachian State University, and the basketball arena on campus bears his name.

District Republicans hold meeting.

February 2, 2009

Fifth District Republicans gathered last Saturday at the Yadkin County GOP headquarters in Yadkinville for thereregular meeting.  Chairman Dan Barrett spoke to the capacity crowd and awards were presented.  Ms. John Brown accepted an appreciation award on behalf of the late NC Rep. John Brown from Wilkes County.  Former NC Rep. Tracy Walker accepted an award for his many years of service in the NC legislature.  Also, Former NC Rep. George Holmes accepted an award for his many years of service in the legislature as well.  Representatives from counties throughout the district spoke to the highlights and failures of this past election.  

We hope to post the minutes as soon as we get them for review.   If you would like to see photos from the meeting click here.  Also stay tuned for dates and times for county conventions.