Former Virginia Gov. Gerald Baliles dead at 79 years old

Gov. Ralph Northam reacts to his death

RICHMOND, Va. – Former Virginia Gov. Gerald Baliles died Tuesday morning at 79 years old, according to a statement from his family. 

The statement says the former governor was surrounded by family, and funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time. 

Below is a statement from Gov. Ralph Northam: 

I am deeply sorry to hear of the passing of Governor Gerald Baliles.

"As the 65th Governor of Virginia, he understood and valued the role government can play in improving citizens’ lives. He transformed Virginia’s transportation infrastructure, signed Virginia into the Chesapeake Bay agreement under which we still operate today, and focused on expanding access to higher education, among many other accomplishments. 

"Governor Baliles fought for rural Virginians, promoted civil discourse, and was the epitome of a true public servant.

"While his accomplishments in office were, and remain, impressive, I will miss him for the kind ear and the sound advice he was always willing to give to me. Pam and I send our deepest sympathies to his wife, children, and loved ones. 

"I have directed that Virginia state flags be flown at half-staff in Governor Baliles’ honor for the next 30 days. 

Below is a statement from U.S. Senator Mark Warner:

In his four years as Governor, Gerald Baliles was a steady hand steering the Commonwealth, making important investments in transportation that Virginians are still benefiting from today. 

He was also a good friend. I join all Virginians in celebrating his service to the Commonwealth. We will miss him.

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