A former Attorney General and Secretary of State, as well as the 1984 Democratic nominee for Governor, Rufus Edmisten was raised on a farm in the mountains of Watauga County, near Boone, North Carolina. After completing an undergraduate degree in political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Rufus completed his J.D. through evening classes at George Washington University Law School. While in law school, Rufus first taught third grade, and later joined the staff of Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr. on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights.

Sen. Ervin chaired the Senate Watergate Committee (1973-1974) and Rufus was appointed Deputy Chief Counsel on that committee. It was then that Rufus served the first-ever subpoena to a sitting president of the United States by a Congressional Committee.

Rufus was elected the state’s Attorney General in 1974, an office he held until he won the Democratic nomination for governor in 1984. Though he did not win the governorship, Rufus was elected Secretary of State of North Carolina in 1988.

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