Thad Eure, N.C. Secretary of State for Over a Half-Century

On November 3, 1936, Thad Eure was elected to his first term as North Carolina’s Secretary of State. Eure would go on to hold the post for 13 terms, serving in the job for a total of 53 years.

Born in Gates County in 1899, Eure served as mayor of Winton and a member of the General Assembly before he decided to run for Secretary of State in 1931 at the behest of Governor O. Max Gardner.

Eure, like other secretaries of state, was responsible for chartering corporations and publishing the North Carolina Manual, a biannual compilation of laws, among other duties. He was known for being available to new legislators for advice and maintained a literal open door policy; never closing his door to the public.

Though Eure was famous for asking voters to “give a young man a chance” during his first campaign, he had the nickname of “oldest rat in the Democratic barn” by the end of his career. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan recognized Eure for holding public office longer than any official in United States history.

Eure died in 1993.

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