ARDEN: Lawmakers to pay respects to late Sen. Nesbitt - WNCN: News, Weather

2 governors, lawmakers say goodbye to Sen. Nesbitt

Posted: Updated:
ARDEN, N.C. -

Two North Carolina governors and dozens of legislators from both parties joined several hundred mourners Tuesday to pay their last respects to veteran General Assembly member Martin Nesbitt.
    
Gov. Pat McCrory and former Gov. Beverly Perdue also attended the funeral at a Buncombe County church. Former Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker and current Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue delivered eulogies.
    
Nesbitt relinquished the Senate minority leader's post just before he died last Thursday at age 67 following a recent cancer diagnosis. Nesbitt's casket was covered by the North Carolina flag, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.
    
"Until the end, Martin placed his people over politics," Blue, D-Wake, told the crowd at Biltmore Baptist Church in Arden. "He was loyal to his people and he was loyal to his friends."
    
A funeral procession following the service gave roadside residents the chance to honor the Asheville Democrat for a legislative career which started in 1979 when he succeeded his mother, Mary Nesbitt, following her death.
    
Under the mentorship of four-term House Speaker Liston Ramsey, Nesbitt became a top budget negotiator in the 1980s and was as a budget chairman when Blue was House speaker in the early 1990s. He was known for speaking out for his mountain constituents.
    
Wicker, who also was previously in the House, remembered Nesbitt as someone who fought for what he believed in no matter the odds. Nesbitt's favorite political battles involved working on behalf of the poor and less fortunate, Wicker said.
    
"He didn't just enjoy it," Wicker said. "He relished it."
    
Nesbitt's burial was private.
    
In 2002, Nesbitt had a major role in getting legislation passed that substantially cut pollution from 14 coal-fired power plants, citing smog that was diminishing mountain vistas and hurting tourism.
    
In the Senate three years later, Nesbitt almost singled-handedly pushed through the legislature a $247 million disaster relief package for western North Carolina following two tropical storms.
    
"Now the people can begin to plan what they're going to do with their lives," Nesbitt said when the bill received final legislative approval.
    
Nesbitt ultimately rose to become Senate majority leader in 2009. Later as minority leader, Nesbitt was the primary voice in the Senate opposing the legislature's Republican-dominated agenda.

RELATED STORIES

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 2 charged with first-degree murder in beating death of UNC professor, cancer researcher

    2 charged with first-degree murder in beating death of UNC professor, cancer researcher

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:00:14 GMT
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
  • UNC: Former athletes can return to finish degrees

    UNC: Former athletes can return to finish degrees

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:04:36 GMT
    UNC Chancellor Carol Folt. (File photo)UNC Chancellor Carol Folt. (File photo)
    University of North Carolina Chancellor Carol Folt announced a new program Thursday that will allow former UNC athletes to return and finish their uncompleted degrees.
    University of North Carolina Chancellor Carol Folt announced a new program Thursday that will allow former UNC athletes to return and finish their uncompleted degrees.
  • Indian teen has 232 'teeth' removed from jaw

    Indian teen has 232 'teeth' removed from jaw

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:23 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:23:39 GMT
    After complaining of pain in his jaw, an Indian teen and his family discovered that he had a severe dental condition - and surgeons pulled 232 "teeth" from his jaw. 
    After complaining of pain in his jaw, an Indian teen and his family discovered that he had a severe dental condition - and surgeons pulled 232 "teeth" from his jaw. 
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.