Former N.C. Lt. Governor Appointed ABC Board Chairman

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Former North Carolina Lt. Gov. Jim Gardner has returned to a state government post, this time as the state ABC board chief.

Gov. Pat McCrory announced Thursday he's appointed Gardner as chairman of the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.

The Rocky Mount native is a longtime restaurant executive who once served in Congress and was elected North Carolina's first and only Republican lieutenant governor of the 20th century in 1988. He lost to Democrat Jim Hunt for governor in 1992.

Gardner supported McCrory in his 2012 gubernatorial campaign and served on his transition team.

Gardner turns 80 in April and succeeds Zander Guy of Surf City as chairman. The governor picks the commission's three members, but only the chairman serves full-time. State law sets the chairman's salary around $111,000.

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