The State Ports Authority today gave its president and chief executive officer a new seven-year contract and a $50,000 a year raise.

Jim Newsome’s current three-year employment contract was not due to expire until September, but the SPA board of directors decided to act now.

“We have got, without a doubt, the premier port director in the nation,” board member David Posek said. “And, we want to keep him.”

Newsome’s pay will rise to $350,000 in January.

See Wednesday’s editions of The Post and Courier for more details.