RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Longtime leader of the North Carolina State Senate Marc Basnight has died at 73, officials said Monday.

Basnight served as a Democratic member of the Senate, representing the 1st District, from 1984 to 2011.

He resigned just before the start of what would have been his 14th term in 2011.

Basnight, of Manteo, served as President pro-tem of the Senate staring in 1993 until his party lost the majority in the Senate in the 2010 elections.

Basnight, who respresented areas of the North Carolina coast, then resigned citing health issues.

Several officials released statements about Basnight after his passing.

Gov. Roy Cooper

“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.”

Attorney General Josh Stein

“With the passing of Sen. Marc Basnight today, NC lost a remarkable leader and a political legend. He served as president pro tempore of NC Senate for nearly two decades. I was honored to serve with him for his last two years in office.

Marc cared deeply about school kids, working families, the UNC system, the state Senate, and northeastern NC. He was a true high tider. Everyone loved his distinctive brogue, which unfortunately illness had robbed him of in recent years, and I especially loved the oysters that he served at Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe in Manteo.

One of a kind. A good man. I will miss him. NC will miss him. I send heartfelt condolences to his daughters Caroline and Vicki.

Dare County Board of Commissioners

With sadness and many fond memories, the Dare County Board of Commissioners and the people of Dare County remember Senator Marc Basnight. Highly respected throughout the state and the nation, Marc was a true native son of Dare County who worked tirelessly for those he served in northeastern North Carolina.  

“I was fortunate to have a special friendship with Marc,” said Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard. “He was someone I could always turn to, and I will miss his smile, his encouragement and his passion for Dare County. I will always cherish our talks together, and I appreciate all that he has done for the people of Dare County and the state of North Carolina. Marc Basnight’s legacy and life of public service will be treasured forever.”

Dare County Democratic Party

Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, NC District 15

Congressman Greg Murphy, NC District 3

“North Carolina lost a consequential and dedicated public servant to our state tonight in Senator Marc Basnight,” said Murphy. “An eastern North Carolina native, Senator Basnight cared deeply about the welfare of this great state and his impression on our politics will be felt for years to come. I am terribly saddened by passing, and my condolences go out to his family and loved ones. He will be mourned as a dedicated public servant.”