More actively supporting and promoting the state’s ports and economy are among Danny McComas’ goals as the new chairman of the North Carolina State Ports Authority Board of Directors.
“I’d like to see the board be more hands-on,” said McComas, who recently resigned from his seat in the state House. “The makeup of the board at this time certainly points in that direction. So I feel very confident that we’ll be able to do that.”
“It’s another tool in our tool chest to bring about economic development and more jobs to North Carolina,” McComas said.
Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat, named McComas, a Republican, to the State Ports Authority last month, and McComas announced his resignation from the House, effective Sept. 2.
“The ports are a critical component to the economy of North Carolina,” Perdue said in an Aug. 29 news release. “Rep. McComas’ appointment demonstrates my commitment to the continued success and growth of the North Carolina State Ports Authority. I want the best person in the job, no matter what side of the aisle he or she sits on.”
McComas had earlier decided against running for re-election for his District 19 House seat.
New Hanover County Commission Chairman Ted Davis Jr., a Republican, and Kure Beach Town Councilwoman Emilie Swearingen, a Democrat, were running for the House District 19 seat in the November general election.
A special executive committee meeting is planned for this month to make and vote upon nominations to fill the seat for the remainder of the two year term, which ends in December, New Hanover County Republican Chairwoman Rhonda Amoroso said Monday, Sept. 3. The nomination will be sent to Perdue, who will then have seven days to approve the recommendation, Amoroso said.
McComas had served New Hanover County in the state House for about 18 years. He and Perdue had led a study commission on the state ports in the mid-1990s when Perdue served in the state Senate.
The State Ports Authority position was unexpected, McComas said.
“I hadn’t even given it any thought in the past until the governor came to me and asked me about it,” McComas said. “I was completely surprised and taken aback, and I was very honored that she would come and ask me.”
The chairman position is unpaid other than travel reimbursements, and it fills an unexpired term to 2016 formerly held by Gastonia attorney Carl Stewart Jr., who resigned.
McComas and others on the 11-member board will meet throughout the state on behalf of the ports of Wilmington and Morehead City and the inland terminals in Charlotte and Greensboro, State Ports Authority spokeswoman Shannon Moody said Tuesday, Sept. 4.
“They take an active role in our strategic planning and development opportunities,” Moody said, adding that board members also coordinate with other logistics organizations in the state, including the Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Global TransPark and state railroads, as well as with the Department of Commerce.
“Through his leadership in the General Assembly to assist in the development of our ports through legislation creating programs such as ‘Port Enhancement Zones’ and his extensive private sector experience, he brings a wealth of knowledge in the shipping and transportation industries that will reinforce North Carolina’s commitment to our ports and focus on logistics,” State Ports Authority Executive Director Tom Bradshaw said in a prepared statement from
McComas is president of the MCO Transport trucking and warehouse business in Wilmington. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and earned a finance degree from St. Bonaventure University in New York, Perdue’s office said.
“It’s been a great career,” McComas said of his time in the House. “I felt very good about what we did for southeastern North Carolina, and as I move forward I know we’ve got good people coming in, and I think it’s their turn to serve.”