Crawford earns public service award

Mar. 05, 2014 @ 06:27 PM

Former N.C. Rep. Jim Crawford Jr. received the Award for Distinguished Public Service during the 72nd annual meeting of the N.C. Chamber on Wednesday afternoon.

The organization presents the award to individuals who have made significant contributions to North Carolina’s economy and to the life of the state.

“I was deeply humbled by the award,” Crawford said. “It has been given to very prominent people in North Carolina, and I was very proud to be among them.”

Crawford helped found the Model Teacher Education Consortium, which gave people in rural areas training to become teachers.

He also contributed to ending the inventory tax on North Carolina.

“I felt it was a very unfair tax,” he said. “When a business has a bad year and doesn’t sell anything and their inventory goes up, they had to pay more tax in a bad year.”

Lew Ebert, president and CEO of the N.C. Chamber, wrote in an email it was a distinct honor for him to present Crawford with the award.

“As the leading advocate for business in our state, the North Carolina Chamber invests its time and resources each year to recognize exceptional North Carolina business and public leaders — to both honor and thank them for their contributions to our communities, state and country,” he wrote. “Rep. Jim Crawford has dedicated his life to public service. Serving 14 terms in the N.C. House of Representatives, Rep. Crawford has championed important causes from transportation to education and finance to mental health.”

At last year’s Granville County Chamber of Commerce banquet, Crawford was given the 2013 John Penn Citizen Award for his service in the legislature, as well as his community and church activities.

He was also presented the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, which is considered the state’s highest civilian honor, on behalf of Gov. Pat McCrory at last year’s Granville Chamber banquet.

Crawford served in the N.C. House from 1983 to 1992. He ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 1993 and returned to the N.C. House from 1995 to 2012.

He first held public office with the Oxford City Council from 1965 to 1969.

During his 28 years in the state legislature, Crawford sat on various House committees — including appropriations, judiciary and mental health — as well as interstate and joint committees, including the Virginia-North Carolina High Speed Rail Commission.

As a partner in Crawford Properties and owner of a shopping center in Henderson, he held membership in the N.C. Retail Merchants Association, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the Oxford Jaycees.

He was selected by McCrory in June to serve on the state Board of Transportation as the rural at-large representative.

Crawford, a U.S. Navy veteran, founded and was first chairman of the N.C. House Small Business Caucus.

He has been named Legislator of the Year by both the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the N.C. Nurses Association and has been a recipient of the N.C. Association for Addiction Treatment Program Award.

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.