Marc Basnight, dean of Dare County & N.C. politics, passes at age 73

Marc Basnight [submitted photo]

Marc Basnight, the dean of politics in Dare County and North Carolina for decades, passed away Monday at age 73.

Born in Manteo and graduate of Manteo High School in 1966, Basnight served as chairman of the Dare County Tourism Bureau from 1974 to 1976, before being named to the North Carolina Board of Transportation in 1977 by then-Gov. Jim Hunt.

Basnight was first elected to the North Carolina State Senate in 1984 and represented the First District until he stepped down due to health issues in 2011.

He served as the Senate President Pro Tempore from 1993 until 2010, the longest tenure in North Carolina history.

Basnight and his family own and operate Lone Cedar Cafe on the Nags Head Causeway. The new bridge over Oregon Inlet was named in Basnight’s honor in 2019.

Governor Roy Cooper issued a statement Monday evening:

“North Carolina lost a giant today with the passing of my friend, Senator Marc Basnight. His positive influence on our public universities, transportation, environment and more will be felt for decades. A man of great power and influence, his humble, common touch made everyone he met feel special, whether pouring them a glass of tea in his restaurant or sharing a pack of nabs at a country store. He believed in North Carolina and its people, and our state is stronger because of him. Our prayers are with Vicki, Caroline and the whole family.”

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