The N.C. Senate honored the memory of political journalist Mark Binker as it adjourned its session Tuesday.
Senate leader Phil Berger spoke about Binker, who died Saturday at his home at age 43. Binker was the editor of the N.C. Insider, a political news service owned by The News & Observer, and he’d previously covered state government for WRAL and The News & Record of Greensboro.
“Without exception, our members had a good relationship with Mark, whether they were Republicans or Democrats,” Berger said. “I was actually on the road headed to an event Saturday when I got a call about Mark’s untimely death and was shocked to say the least. I don’t think I still fully comprehend what has transpired.”
The Republican legislative leader noted that Binker often used the word “scruffy” to describe himself.
“Quick-witted, fair are also apt words to describe him. I ask all of you to keep Mark’s family in your prayers.”
The Senate voted to adjourn in memory of Binker – an honor more frequently given to former legislators when they die.
Also Tuesday, a slight change was made in the arrangements for Binker’s memorial service, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. on May 12. It will now be held in the Fletcher Opera Theater at Raleigh’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, instead of Memorial Auditorium next door.
Gov. Roy Cooper stopped by the legislature’s press office Tuesday to sign a memory book that will be given to the Binker family.
A online fundraiser to cover funeral expenses for Binker and support his two sons raised nearly $11,000 in a single day. “We are overwhelmed with the amount of support that we have received,” the organizers of the fundraiser posted Tuesday. “The family thanks you all. Marla (Binker’s wife) wants to thank everyone when she is able. She and the boys are now realizing how very loved and respected Mark was.”