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Former Congressman, Senate Candidate Galifianakis Dies at 94

A funeral ceremony was held on Saturday to mourn the loss of former Democratic U.S. Representative Nick Galifianakis, who represented central North Carolina for a few years before running for the Senate twice, unsuccessfully.

Galifianakis passed away on March 27 at the age of 94. As per the obituary published by the Hall-Wynne Funeral Service in Durham, he had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease and breathed his last at a retirement community in Raleigh. Jack Pinnix, a family spokesman, informed The News & Observer that Galifianakis was originally from Durham, the son of Greek immigrants, and had graduated from Duke University. Before becoming a politician, he was an attorney and an ex-Marine, and secured a seat in the General Assembly in 1960. Galifianakis was then elected to Congress in 1966, and he became a rising star in the party, serving three terms.

In 1972, Galifianakis won in the Democratic primary against U.S. Senator B. Everett Jordan, but he lost to the Republican candidate Jesse Helms, who was a television commentator in Raleigh at the time. That year became a landmark one for Republicans in North Carolina as many GOP candidates won due to President Richard Nixon’s sweeping victory. Helms served in the Senate for three decades.

Galifianakis ran for the U.S. Senate again in 1974 but lost to Attorney General Robert Morgan.

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