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Sandy Basnight, wife of Senate leader, dies at 59

By Staff
By NIKIE MAYO
News Editor
Sandy Basnight, wife of Senate leader Marc Basnight, died Sunday at UNC Hospitals following a lengthy illness. She was 59.
The senator, a Dare County Democrat, told General Assembly colleagues last week he would be absent from the Legislature ‘‘for the immediate future’’ because of a family illness. How long he will be away or whether he will return for this legislative session is not yet known.
Basnight has served in the Legislature since 1985, representing the 1st District, including Beaufort, Hyde and Washington counties. He has led the Senate for eight terms — a record in the state. Colleagues said he couldn’t have done that without the help of his wife, whom Rep. Arthur Williams, D- Beaufort, called “part of his backbone.”
Sandy Basnight co-owned and managed the family’s Nags Head restaurant, Lone Cedar Cafe. Fire gutted that restaurant just last month.
A funeral service for Sandy Basnight will be held Wednesday at noon at Bethany United Methodist Church in Wanchese.
Basnight’s office did not disclose the nature of the illness his wife faced.
“The Basnight family appreciates the outpouring of support during this difficult time,” Schorr Johnson, a Basnight spokesman, said in a prepared statement Monday.
The Rev. Mike Morris, Senate chaplain, opened Monday night’s session with a prayer for the Basnights.