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Linwood Holton, The First Republican Governor Of Virginia In The 20th Century, Has Died

Linwood Holton
Steve Helber
Radio IQ
In this 2012 file photo, Former Republican Virginia Gov. Linwood Holton, celebrates the win of his son-in-law, former Gov. Timothy Kaine.

A. Linwood Holton Jr., Virginia’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction and a crusader against racial discrimination, has died.

He was 98. His family says he died peacefully Thursday at his Kilmarnock, Virginia, home.

Holton was Virginia's governor from 1970 to 1974. A moderate, he declared an end to “Massive Resistance,” the state’s onetime official policy of opposing public school integration.

He eventually fell out of favor with the increasingly conservative GOP, which he criticized as obsessed with cutting taxes at the expense of crucial services.

A family statement on Holton's death was shared by the office of Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, Holton’s son-in-law, who praised him as a model of public service.

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