Local News

As Her Husband Begins Second Term, Mary Easley Plans Her Agenda

Posted January 14, 2005

— On Saturday, Gov. Mike Easley will take the oath of office again and begin serving his second term.

First lady Mary Easley has her own plans for the state, mainly involving children. The last four years have gone by quickly for Easley, and she wouldn't change a bit of it.

"The pace of events is very rapid. The issues are big ones. And the issues impact everybody's daily life every day," Easley said.

Throughout the first term of her husband, there have been ups and downs, she said.

"You take the good with the challenging and learn from it and move forward and that's what we've done, and it's been very exciting, very rewarding, difficult and an experience I wouldn't trade for anything," Easley said.

The first lady has her own projects: childhood immunization and education. And she's the national co-chair of a program to keep children alcohol-free.

During the next four years, she's considering adding on a new mission: childhood obesity.

She even makes an appointment to bend the governor's ear.

"We have been professionals all our lives and we conduct business. I go through his scheduling assistant. Oh yeah -- I know that seems odd," Easley says. "I don't need to but if I'm taking up business that I think is an important issue, why not do it the way everybody else would do something like that? So I conduct myself like any other professional would, so I'm not going to go home and bug him at night when he's trying to relax. That wouldn't be fair."

When it comes to Inauguration Day, the Easleys will be side by side again as they embark on a second term.

Although two council of state races remain contested, Mary Easley is an advocate for the process.

"I don't have an opinion on the individual races that are up in the air, but you know what's really important? Is that everybody cares so much about it that they are advocating so strongly for their position -- whatever it is. And everybody has an opinion," Easley said. "That's really healthy."


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