When you're the longest serving member in the history of the state legislature, certain perks come your way. Only two senators have a reserved parking spot, and R.C. Soles has a spacious office to go along with his spot. Despite the size, he still has to sift through nearly 300 letters and emails a day. Keeping businesses afloat is important for all Americans, not just politicians. On Tuesday, in his personal conference room, Soles led an effort to modernize the Brooks Brothers plant in Sampson County. "If we don't do it, the plant will likely have to be shut down and the plant will move to Malaysia," Soles said. Soles serves on nine Senate committees. He typically attends three a day. They normally last about an hour, and afterward it's onto the next one. But Soles has to stop for lunch. There's a members only dining room at the State Legislative Building. Despite his status, he still has to pay, but he does stake claim to the same corner table every afternoon. After lunch, it's more committee work and more networking. It certainly makes for a long day at times, but that's how state government works. "It’s like watching sausage being made," Soles said. "It doesn't look good, but once it comes through it tastes good." The negative side to being the Senator Majority Chairman, Soles has to stand on his feet a lot. Many wonder if Soles will he keep standing in order to run for another term? "Let’s put it this way, I'm actually campaigning every day, but you never know what's around the corner," Soles said. "Some people think I’ve been here long enough and to some extent I think I have to. At this point I’m running, but you always have the option of changing." During his 21 terms in Raleigh, Soles has worked with eight different governors.
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