Politics & Government
5:00 pm
Tue January 4, 2011

Basnight Steps Down

Marc Basnight
Credit Laura Leslie

The longest-serving Senate Leader in North Carolina history is stepping down later this month.

Manteo Democrat Marc Basnight has served 26 years in the state Senate, running it for the past 9 terms.  But over the last few years, a neurological disease has made speech and balance increasingly difficult for the 64-year-old senator.  He says as President Pro Tem, he didn’t have to stand up and debate very often.  But as a minority member next session, that would change:

"I believe it would be wrong to just sit here and not be able to represent the people who voted for me. That would be wrong. And I do not believe I can do that."

Basnight says he believed he could finish his term when he ran for re-election last year. But he now wants to spend time with his family and his new fiancée, Manteo librarian Sue Waters.