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Senate Dems choose Nesbitt

State Sen. Martin Nesbitt will be his chamber's minority leader next session.

Senate Democrats, who will be in the minority for the first time in more than 100 years, chose the Asheville Democrat in a unanimous vote during a closed-door meeting this afternoon.

Nesbitt, who has been the majority leader for about a year, said he was the sole nominee. Sen. Linda Garrou of Winston-Salem had announced after last month's election that she wanted the post, but Nesbitt ended up walking into the job without opposition Tuesday.

Being minority leader means acting as chief spokesman for the caucus, trying to build a united front on major questions, and, if recent history is any guide, filing a lot of bills that don't get committee hearings. Republicans will hold a 31-19 majority in the chamber.

Nesbitt will also be expected to help Democrats win back the majority in two years through candidate recruitment and fund raising. Over the last decade, Senate leader Marc Basnight, former majority leader Tony Rand, and maybe a few others shouldered much of the fund raising duties.

Individual senators are going to have to take more responsibility for raising money, Nesbitt said. "We can no longer depend on one or two people to get it," he said.

Sen. Josh Stein of Raleigh was elected minority whip. 


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30+ years working for the people

Martin Nesbitt is very smart, extremely hardworking, and has spent his career putting regular people over special interests. I'd say his "mamma" taught him well. I wish more mamas of legislators had taught their children the same.

30+ years on mamma's coattails...

Yep, Martin Nesbitt blew into Rawleigh over 30 years ago, tapped to take the legislative

seat of his dearly departed mother.  It proved to be a career job for the young Martin

to fall right into.  The good ole boy democrackkk network in NC is hard to bust up.

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