Submitted by WWAY on Tue, 12/29/2009 - 1:20pm.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Tony Rand's last official day as a member of the North Carolina Senate will be Thursday. Senate leader Marc Basnight's office received Rand's expected resignation letter Tuesday. Rand said last month he was stepping down to become chairman of the state parole commission. Rand has been one of the most powerful leaders in state government as Senate majority leader, chairman of the chamber's rules committee and a top budget negotiator. The Cumberland County Democrat joined the Senate in 1982. Senate Democrats already have named Sen. Martin Nesbitt of Asheville as Rand's replacement as majority leader. Democrats in the 19th Senate District now must choose someone to complete Rand's term in office through the end of 2010. (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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