Former state Senator William N. Martin died last night at his home of a heart ailment. He was 61.
Martin's widow says he had collapsed when she got home and that he had been treated for an irregular heartbeat and was recovering from a stroke.
Martin served in the state legislature from 1983 to 2002, when he dropped out to seek the Democratic nomination to the new 13th District seat in Congress.
He and four other party veterans lost the primary to Brad Miller of Raleigh, also a former state senator.
After the campaign, Martin was active as a public policy and governmental affairs consultant. Funeral arrangements hadn't been completed.