ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County residents could see a familiar face in elevators across the state in 2025.
Rep. Ben Moss announced Tuesday that he plans to run for N.C. Commissioner of Labor in 2024.
“As a business owner, rail worker, county commissioner, and currently as a state legislator, I’ve spent my life fighting to advance North Carolina’s workforce,” Moss said in a press release. “After fervent prayer and deliberation with my family, I’m humbled to announce our campaign to continue serving the public as our next Labor Commissioner.”
According to the department’s website: “The N.C. Department of Labor is charged by statute with promoting the ‘health, safety, and general well-being’ of more than 4 million workers across the state. The laws and programs it administers affect every worker — and virtually every person — in the state.”
Moss said he feels like his experience as an engineer for CSX Transportation and as an employer shows that he has a lot to “bring to the table.”
“I’ve seen it from both sides,” he told the RO.
Moss also said in a press release that “The last 20-plus years of my life have set the stage to uniquely qualify me to cut through bureaucracy and make the government work better for the people.”
The commissioner also serves on the Council of State, which includes: the governor and lieutenant governor; attorney general; commissioners of agriculture and insurance; secretary of state; superintendent of public instruction; and the state treasurer and auditor.
All 10 positions will be up for grabs in 2024.
Moss said the decision to run came after current Commissioner Josh Dobson announced earlier this month that he wouldn’t seek a second term after being elected to the position in 2020.
Dobson also previously served in the House and as a commissioner for McDowell County. He succeeded Cherie Berry, who served 20 years as “Elevator Queen.”
Since the commissioner became an elected position in 1901, Berry, Dobson and Thomas Nye Jr. (1975-1977) have been the only Republicans.
“Josh Dobson has served our state well, and I look forward to building on his efforts as we work to make North Carolina the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” Moss said.
When asked if he planned to move to Raleigh if elected, Moss told the RO that his family “is ready to do what we have to do.”
“As a result of our business-friendly tax environment and beautiful landscape, North Carolina is a rapidly growing state,” Moss said.“Employers are in demand of a ready-workforce, and workers are in need of more opportunities for education and training to fill these high-paying jobs.”
Moss was just re-elected to his second term in the N.C. House of Representatives, defeating Moore County’s Jamie Boles in a Republican primary after a redrawing of the districts double-bunked the two incumbents.
In the House, Moss is majority whip and in 2021 served as vice chairman of both the Transportation and Local Government committees.
He is the first Republican in recent memory to serve Richmond County in the state House.
Prior to running for state office, Moss served a decade on the Richmond County Board of Commissioners. At the time, he was the first Republican on the board in more than a century.
Moss’ political success paved the way for more Republicans to join the board in 2020 and a current all-GOP board following last month’s election.
As of this writing, no one else has announced plans to run.