Sen. Don East died last fall, but his named is still echoing in the legislative chambers of the N.C. General Assembly.
That’s due to a resolution being introduced honoring the contributions of the former Pilot Mountain resident.
“Sen. East was a great leader and a role model in his service to our state,” according to Sen. Shirley Randleman of Wilkesboro, a longtime member of the House of Representatives who replaced East.
Randleman introduced Senate Joint Resolution 7 last week in recognition of East, one of the first acts of business in the newly launched 2013-2014 session of the General Assembly. Thirty-eight other senators sponsored the legislation as well, including both Democrats and members of the Republican Party of which East was part.
East had a long career of public service and built a reputation as a staunch conservative. He retired from the Winston-Salem Police Department in 1984 after 20 years on the job, then was on the Surry County Board of Commissioners from 1984 to 1992. He served seven terms as a North Carolina senator from 1995 to 2000 and again from 2005 to 2012.
The local resident represented District 30 in the Senate, which included Surry, Alleghany, Stokes and Yadkin counties. Due to redistricting last year, it is now made up of Surry, Stokes and Wilkes.
East died unexpectedly on Oct. 22 in a Winston-Salem hospital after complications from routine back and hip surgery. He was 67.
With his name already on the ballot for a November re-election bid, GOP representatives of District 30 counties nominated Randleman to replace East on the ticket and she was elected handily.
“It is my honor and pleasure to follow him as the senator for District 30,” Randleman added, “and represent the citizens of Surry, Stokes and Wilkes counties.”