Statement from Gov. Mike Easley Concerning the Passing of Former Sen. Jesse Helms

"Whether you liked his politics or not, he was a national force able to deliver for his constituents.  We last appeared together when the Navy named a submarine after North Carolina at his request.  He certainly didn't shy from controversy and you always knew what his positions were.  Whether we were working together to stop international drug trafficking or opposing each other on the campaign trail, he was always a gentleman to me."