NC Rep. Fred Steen may seek seat in Congress

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 5, 2011

By Hugh Fisher
SALISBURY — Acknowledging rumors that have circulated for several weeks, N.C. Rep. Fred Steen, R-Rowan, said Tuesday he is considering a run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012.
New district boundaries, drawn based on results of the 2010 Census, place part of Steen’s constituency within the 8th Congressional District.
U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, a Democrat from Biscoe, currently holds the 8th District seat.
Steen was first elected to the General Assembly in 2004.
Prior to that, he served as mayor of Landis.
“A lot of my constituents are upset with the mess we have in Congress,” Steen said.
He said many locals have been urging him to run, but that he will make a final decision in November.
“We’re testing the waters,” Steen said.
He cited several issues as reasons why he’d consider running, including what he said are unreasonably high levels of federal spending and continuing high levels of unemployment.
“We have an opportunity to take a look at those kinds of things,” Steen said. “Those are the things we’ll be studying as I make a decision whether to run or not.
“I think every citizen you talk to says spending (in Washington) needs to be put into check.”
Steen also cited his involvement in the General Assembly, particularly what he called “right-sizing” of N.C. government.
He said he could put that experience to work in Congress.
Prior to Kissell’s election in 2008, Cabarrus native Robin Hayes, a Republican, had represented the 8th District for five terms.
Hayes is chairman of the state Republican Party. He has given no indication that he plans to run for Congress again.
“If he would, it would be an easy decision to make, not to run,” Steen said.
One way or the other, Steen said his decision will come in November.
“I have to make sure this is the right decision for me and my family,” Steen said.
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.