Under the Dome

Zeb Alley, former state senator and longtime lobbyist, dies

Zeb Alley, a former state senator and later the state's most powerful lobbyist, died Thursday. He was 84.

House Speaker Thom Tillis announced the news, saying Alley died shortly after 9 a.m. He did not disclose a cause of death. The Senate adjourned Thursday in his memory.

Alley spent more than four decades working the halls at the statehouse in Raleigh, beginning with his election to the state Senate in 1970. He worked until his death as a lobbyist for Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, though his practice was much less robust in recent years.

A prominent Democrat, Alley served one term before becoming commissioner of the N.C. Courts Commission. He later served as a member of the N.C. Board of Alochol Control for three years until becoming then-Gov. Jim Hunt's lobbyist in 1980.

He founded and led Alley Associates, a government affairs consulting firm for more than two decades, training and mentoring a cadre of future legislative players.

His public service career extends much deeper to his four years in the Army serving in the Korean War. He received the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, according to a biography at his firm's website.

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