Steen tapped for unemployment review board

Published 12:05 am Sunday, June 19, 2016

By Josh Bergeron

SALISBURY — By July 1, Landis native Fred Steen could have a new job in state politics.

Steen, a Republican who currently serves as Gov. Pat McCrory’s legislative director, has been nominated to serve on North Carolina’s Board of Review. The board makes decisions on unemployment benefit claim appeals. McCrory nominated Steen last week, and a resolution to confirm Steen’s nomination is working its way through the state legislature.

In the State House, the resolution received unanimous approval last week. It’s currently awaiting a vote from the State Senate.

When asked about his appointment, Steen said he’s enjoyed his time as McCrory’s legislative director but “it’s time for a change.”

“If I was a younger Fred Steen, I would be staying with Pat for longer,” Steen said. “I am grateful that (McCrory) has offered me the opportunity to do what I’m doing for the last three and a half years. … I look forward to the challenge of learning something new and I look forward to staying with state government.”

He said the move isn’t a retirement from full-time politics. Steen said the Board of Review is a full-time job, but he will have a more regular work schedule than his current position.

“It will be a board that changes my pace a little bit,” he said.

The Board of Review sits within the Division of Employment Securities and the Department of Commerce. There are three members of the board, and Steen’s term would end in June 2020.

Steen first dabbled in politics when he was elected to the Landis town board in 1993. Two years later, he would run for mayor. After eight years as Landis mayor, Steen was selected to finish the term of the late Eugene McCombs in the North Carolina House’s 76th District. He served in the N.C. House until 2012, when he ran for Congress.

He became McCrory’s legislative liaison in 2013. In Steen’s current role, his job is promoting McCrory’s agenda in the state legislature.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.