A caretaker for state Rep. William Wainwright of Craven County said he died just before 6 p.m. Tuesday at Carolina East Medical Center in New Bern. Sheila Godette says Wainwright had medical issues arise in the past two or three months, including heart problems.
The 64-year-old Wainwright first joined the Legislature in 1991 and was elected House speaker pro tempore in 2007. He served in the post for four years and was known as a close ally of Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue, who is also from Craven County.
Wainwright was most recently deputy minority leader.
House Minority Leader Joe Hackney called Wainwright a talented negotiator and a friend in the following statement:
"William Wainwright conducted his business at the General Assembly with as much passion as anyone I encountered during my time in office. He was a talented negotiator motivated only by what was best for the people of his district. He was Speaker Pro Tem during my four years as speaker and deputy minority leader for our caucus for the past two years, but we have been friends for much longer. I will miss him."