Editorial: Rep. Ballenger made government more open for its citizens

Until his death last week, it had been a while since Cass Ballenger’s name appeared in Gazette headlines.

The ultimate straight-talking politician, Ballenger spent a stretch representing Gaston County in Washington and in that time made plenty of news. He had a way of saying what he thought that left listeners with no doubt about what he meant.

Ballenger lived in Hickory but he turned up regularly in Gaston County when he came home from D.C., often dropping by the newspaper office wearing his signature crumpled suit. He took it in stride when a Gazette writer once described him as dressed less like powerful lawmaker and more like Colombo, the detective from the hit TV series of the day. Continue>>>