State Senator Steps Down

Mark Nesbitt

Sen. Mark Nesbitt

North Carolina state Sen. Martin Nesbitt has stepped down as the Senate’s minority leader because of a recent medical diagnosis. Sen. Dan Blue is taking his place. The Senate Democratic Caucus released a statement late Tuesday announcing the change, which occurred Monday during a meeting of Senate Democrats. The statement didn’t provide details about Nesbitt’s illness, except to quote him saying he’ll need the coming weeks and months to focus on his health. Nesbitt and Blue are veteran legislators who previously served together in the House. Blue was elected North Carolina’ first black House speaker in 1991 and served for two terms. The 67-year-old Nesbitt was elected Senate Majority Leader in 2009 and has been minority leader since 2011, when Republicans took over the chamber.