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R.C. Soles Jr., former North Carolina lawmaker, dead at 86

TABOR CITY, N.C. (AP) — Robert Charles “R.C.” Soles Jr., a former North Carolina lawmaker who served in the General Assembly for more than four decades, has died. He was 86.
Soles, of Tabor City, served in the House and Senate for 42 years. He died Friday at McLeod Loris Hospital, the Inman Ward Funeral Home confirmed Saturday.
Soles, an attorney, was first elected to District 13 in the House in 1968. After redistricting, he represented the 19th District. He left the House in 1977, after winning a seat in the Senate. At the time of the time of his retirement in 2011, he was the longest serving state legislator in North Carolina history.
“We’re going to miss him,” longtime legislative ally Dewey Hill told The News Reporter of Whiteville. Hill served in the House during part of the period when Soles was in the Senate.
“He worked hard to do good for the county,” Hill said, and “Columbus County is a better place today because of Senator Soles.”
A 1983 bribery probe led to four indictments against Soles. The judge dismissed charges of conspiracy, vote buying and perjury. After a trial, the jury acquitted Soles on the fourth charge of aiding and abetting payoffs for local political influence.
In 2009, after being arrested for shooting a former client in the leg, Soles announced that he would not seek a 22nd term. Soles pled guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and paid a $1,000 fine.

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