North Carolina's longest serving senator, Marc Basnight, dies at 73

Posted at 8:12 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 20:12:51-05

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Former North Carolina state Sen. Marc Basnight has died at age 73. The Outer Banks Democrat became one of North Carolina’s most powerful leaders while serving a record 18 years as Senate leader.

A family spokesperson said he died at his Manteo home on Monday afternoon.

He had been ill for years with what was later diagnosed as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His nine terms as Senate president pro tempore through 2010 made him the longest-serving head of a legislative body in North Carolina history. Gov. Roy Cooper served with Basnight in the Senate. Cooper called him a “giant” in North Carolina.

Governor Roy Cooper released the following statement:

Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) released the following statement regarding the passing of former Senate Leader Marc Basnight:

"Sen. Basnight and the institution of the Senate are in many ways inseparable. He left his mark on the body, and therefore the state, over his nearly two decades of leadership.

"Sen. Basnight loved people. I used to hear that he’d stop along the way from the Outer Banks to Raleigh just to speak to strangers and hear what they had to say. He loved people, and they loved him back.

"I will always remember the grace with which Sen. Basnight conducted the 2011 transition. He spared no effort and denied no request. He could wage political battle with the best of them, but he always put the institution of the Senate, as a symbol of the people’s representative government, first.

"He’s one of a kind, and I will miss him."

Dare County Democratic Party: