Former Virginia Gov. Gerald Baliles dies at 79

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. Gerald Baliles has died at age 79. The Democrat was known as the “transportation governor” and for his work to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and increase foreign trade.

Gov. Ralph Northam issued a statement from Baliles’ family saying the state’s former chief executive died Tuesday. He had been battling cancer.

Baliles, who served from 1986 to 1990, pushed through a 10-year, $10 billion transportation initiative during the first year of his administration that required increases in the gas and sales taxes.

Baliles kept up the fight for better transportation long after he left the Executive Mansion, calling for Virginia to install tolls on interstates to raise money for transportation projects.

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