Former North Carolina Rep. Heineman Passes Away

Posted March 22, 2010 at 7:19pm

Former Rep. Fred Heineman (R-N.C.), a career policeman who served one term in the House, died Saturday at the age of 80.

Heineman grew up in the Bronx and became a police officer in Harlem, according to the Raleigh News and Observer. He was hired as Raleigh’s top police officer in 1979, earning his nickname, “The Chief.”

Heineman ran for Congress in 1994 and was elected as part of a nationwide wave that turned control of the House over to the Republicans, upsetting incumbent Rep. David Price (D). He boasted of his fiscal restraint and attacked Price as an out-of-touch liberal. In the House, he served on the Judiciary and Banking and Financial Services committees.

“Heineman says he is a ‘big picture man,’ which is reflected in his approach to many problems, including crime and welfare,” Politics in America 1996 noted. “He says providing welfare recipients and others with training is useless if they are then unable to find a job and that Congress needs to reduce tax and regulatory burdens on businesses to encourage them to create jobs.”

Heineman’s tenure was short-lived, though, as Price sought a rematch in 1996 and won. Price was among the Congressmen eulogizing Heineman on the floor Monday night.

“Over the last few days I have heard his former colleagues on the police force and in this institution recount the way he affected their lives,” Price said. “Fred’s colleagues respected his expertise on issues of public safety and his strength of conviction. The nature of this institution, I firmly believe, is such that those who remain true to their convictions, who fight for what they believe in, leave it with pride in the service they have rendered.”