Former Rep. Crawford picked by governor

Jun. 07, 2013 @ 05:54 PM

Jim Crawford Jr., a member of the N.C. House of Representatives for 28 years, has been selected by Gov. Pat McCrory to serve on the State Board of Transportation.

Crawford will serve in a rural at-large seat.

“I hope it means I can help the rural counties,” Crawford said of the appointment.

He said the board’s function has varied over the years.

“Right now, it’s a planning body for the highway system, the ferry system and railroads,” Crawford said.

Tony Tata serves as the Transportation Secretary in McCrory’s Cabinet.

“He’s the executive director,” Crawford said. “He signs all the contracts. The board is primarily an advisory board.

“That may change. The highway commission board was very strong, and all the members had a half million dollars to spend in their particular areas for years. Tom Ellis was last highway commissioner from Vance County, that’s been 40 years. We had Joe Hamme from Granville County. But we’re in the same district with Raleigh.”

Crawford served 14 terms in the House and made an unsuccessful run at lieutenant governor. He was a member of the transportation oversight committee all 28 years and at times chaired the committee. He also was a chairman for the appropriations committee.

Among the other committees on which he served was the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee.

Crawford, who is from Oxford and operates a shopping center in Henderson, was honored earlier this year with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor in the state. The U.S. Navy veteran was also honored by the Granville County Chamber of Commerce with the John Penn Citizen Award.

Crawford worked for McCrory earlier this year as part of his transition team on the state budget.

Contact the writer at awooten@hendersondispatch.com.