- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

SWANNONOA, N.C. (AP) - An ailing Sen. Martin Nesbitt is back in Buncombe County after arriving there in an ambulance.

Well-wishers lined a road near Interstate 40 on Wednesday to welcome Nesbitt home. He stepped down as minority leader because of a serious illness.

The bipartisan crowd held a large sign welcoming Nesbitt home that read “Get well soon!” They held North Carolina and American flags as the ambulance passed.

Republican Buncombe County Commissioner Mike Fryar is a childhood friend who organized the event for Nesbitt. Fryar says he wanted to put politics aside and honor his friend.

Fryar is suffering from cancer and wanted to give his friend of 50 years a boost as he fights his own health battle. The senator and his family are keeping his condition private.

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