James “Jim” Carson Jr. worked on all sides of the law during his career.
As a two-term Republican member of the N.C. House of Representatives, he pushed for and won tougher sentences for habitual felons and for anyone who shoots at a police officer or firefighter, according to his obituary. He also worked as a criminal lawyer for many years.
Carson served as a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and served as attorney general in 1974-75.
Carson, a Charlotte native, died Aug. 28 of cancer.
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“He was highly respected not only in Charlotte but in the General Assembly and the state party all across North Carolina,” said former Gov. Jim Martin, who credited Carson with a breakthrough race in 1966, when Carson was elected to the state House against a slate of incumbent Democrats.
Carson was a Republican, but he knew how to work with the Democrats, Martin recalled. He said Carson was minority leader during his second term.
“I think it’s certainly a loss for Charlotte’s legal community,” said retired Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Richard Boner.
Boner said Carson was a role model and motivator for other Republicans. “I think he showed those of us who are Republican that it was possible – if we tried – that we could hold elected office,” he said.
Carson’s father, James Carson Sr., was a real estate broker who founded Carson Realty in 1922 and for whom Carson Boulevard is named. The senior Carson was a graduate of Davidson College, but his son earned an undergraduate and a law degree from UNC Chapel Hill. He was also a Navy fighter pilot for 15 years.
Carson is survived by his wife of 45 years, Syble Balentine Carson, and three daughters – Page Carson Rogers of Charlotte; Christy Carson Evens of Arlington, Va.; and Read Carson Van de Water of Warrenton, Va. – and eight grandchildren.
A service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday at Christ Episcopal Church, 1412 Providence Road. Arrangements are being handled by Robertson Funeral & Cremation Service.
Karen Sullivan: 704-358-5532, @Sullivan_kms