White seeks Basnight’s seat

Published 9:43 am Monday, January 17, 2011

NAGS HEAD – A current official with the North Carolina Board of Transportation has made his intentions known that he will seek the appointment to the District 1 State Senate seat currently held by Marc Basnight.

Stan White is among several individuals that have announced they would seek the appointment, according to media outlets covering eastern North Carolina politics.

From a regional standpoint, White is perhaps the best known candidate. He has served for the past nine years as the Division One representative on the State Board of Transportation. Division One covers 14 counties, including Bertie, Gates, Hertford and Northampton, as well as the Outer Banks.

White is also a past member of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, serving as Chairman for three of the nine years he was on that government entity, according to the Outer Banks Sentinel.

Virginia Tillet, a current member of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, is also seeking appointment to Basnight’s seat as are two other Dare County residents – defense attorney Kathryn Fagan and Paul Tine, a former Chamber of Commerce leader and business owner.

The Washington Daily News, a sister publication of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, is reporting that two others have stepped forward to express their desire to replace Basnight. They are Matt Wood of Elizabeth City, a former Pasquotank County Commissioner, and Arthur Williams, a state representative in Beaufort County until his defeat in November by Republican Bill Cook.

In order to appoint Basnight’s successor, two delegates from each of the eight counties of District 1 will convene in a special meeting, scheduled for Friday, Jan. 21 at Tyrrell Hall in Columbia. In addition to Dare, the counties within the legislative district include Beaufort, Camden, Currituck, Hyde, Pasquotank, Tyrrell and Washington. Each county has voting power based on population.

Once the delegates have narrowed the field of candidates to one, that name will be submitted to North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue, hopefully before the North Carolina General Assembly convenes on Jan. 26.

Earlier this month, Basnight announced he was retiring, effective Jan. 25, from his NC Senate seat due to declining health. He was re-elected to a 14th term in November of last year.

The 2010 elections saw the Republicans gain the majority in the NC House and Senate, meaning Basnight would surrender his powerful position of Senate President, which he has held since 1993.