Local Politics

Former N.C. insurance commissioner suffered a stroke

Posted January 21, 2009 3:34 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Former state Insurance Commissioner Jim Long was taken to Rex Hospital Wednesday afternoon after he suffered a stroke at the Legislative Office Building.

Long was outside the office of state Rep. Cary Allred, R-Alamance, when he collapsed. Legislative assistant Nancy Garriss said she saw Long writing on top of a file cabinet when he fell "like a tree" to the floor.

Garriss and other legislative aides rushed to his assistance and called paramedics.

"I ran in there and asked him his name and if he was OK. He said he was OK and his name was Jim Long," Garriss said. "The fact that he was able to respond immediately and say, 'I'm OK' (was a good sign). He was a little shook up, of course. Anybody would be when you fall."

Long, 68, served as insurance commissioner for 24 years before choosing not to seek re-election last fall.

EMS transported Long to Rex Hospital, where doctors determined he had suffered a stroke, Rex spokeswoman Melody Hunter-Pillion said. Doctors continued to evaluate his condition Wednesday evening.

"He is in my prayers," said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, Long's former assistant. "I've asked the (legislative) committee to keep him and his family in our prayers."