RALEIGH – Former state senator Tony Rand, who served over 10 combined terms in the North Carolina Senate, has died at age 80 from throat cancer. Rand was an attorney and lived in Fayetteville. He represented Bladen and Cumberland counties in the General Assembly and from 2001 through 2009, he served as the chamber’s majority leader.
He was first appointed to the senate in 1981 and was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 1988, losing to Republican Jim Gardner. In 1995 Rand returned to the senate where he served until his resignation in 2009.
Following his senate tenure, Rand was appointed chairman of the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission in 2009 by Gov. Bev Perdue where he served until 2014. He was also appointed chairman of the N.C. Lottery Commission by Gov. Roy Cooper from August 2018 until late 2019, when he resigned for health reasons.
Rand was instrumental in the controversial passage of the state lottery in 2005. He was well-known as a powerful Democrat in the state. Gov. Cooper said of Rand “My good friend was the muscle who moved good ideas into great laws. Behind his brilliant wit and encyclopedic knowledge of North Carolina was a man who deeply loved his family, his state and his Tar Heels. Kristin and I send our love and deepest sympathy to his family and friends, especially his wife Karen and his sons Ripley and Craven.”
Rand, a Wake County native, was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the UNC Chapel Hill school of law.