NC leaders respond to passing of Nancy Reagan

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North Carolinians react to Nancy Reagan's death (WTVD)

"She had an incredible effect on North Carolina politics," said Dallas Woodhouse, spokesperson for the North Carolina GOP.

He told a story from 1976 when Ronald Reagan was making a bid for the White House and campaigning in North Carolina.

"He had lost a lot of primaries, he was about to get out," said Woodhouse.

He went on to say that supporter and then Sen. Jesse Helms, wanted to use a video of a speech Reagan gave in Florida, one he felt showed voters who Reagan was. Reagan's campaign said no but his wife went ahead and authorized it.

"They bought television time all across the state, they aired that speech, they literally edited out the palm trees," said Woodhouse.

While that did not pave the way for a win that year, supporters believe it helped win hearts for four years later. It's that belief in her husband and her work on issues such as Alzheimer's, drug use and breast cancer, that have people publicly reacting to the news of her death.

"Nancy Reagan was an uncommon combination of strength, grace and devotion," Governor McCrory said. "Many of us, including myself, were inspired into public service by the words and deeds of President Ronald Reagan. And he drew much of his inspiration from his beloved wife, Nancy. It is a sad day for our nation. Ann and I ask North Carolinians around the state to keep the Reagan family in their thoughts and prayers during this time."

Senator Thom Tillis expressed his condolences to the family as well, saying he and his wife were saddened by the news.

Representative Renee Ellmers also commented on Twitter, sending her condolences as well.

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