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Alista ‘Cozzie’ Watkins, a force in Mecklenburg County’s Democratic party, died Thursday

Alista “Cozzie” Watkins, a local Democratic activist and party volunteer, died Thursday at Atrium Health’s Mercy Hospital, according to party officials. She was 71.

At the time of her death, Watkins served as the party’s chair for the 12th Congressional District, which includes much of Mecklenburg County.

A nurse by profession, Watkins “dedicated her life to caring for others,” U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, who represents the 12th district, said in a statement.

Adams, a Democrat, called Watkins “a dear friend whom I admired, respected and learned from.”

“As a Democratic volunteer, party chair, convention delegate, and activist, she was dedicated to bettering the lives of her neighbors and working for equity and justice,” Adams said.

The Political Black Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg remembered Watkins as a political force who “never minced words.”

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