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McCrory urges NC to vote down 'power elite' at campaign kick-off

Posted January 31, 2012
Updated February 1, 2012

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— Republican candidate Pat McCrory formally announced his entry Tuesday into the 2012 North Carolina gubernatorial campaign with a plea to voters to work against the "good old boys and girls network" that has been in power for nearly two decades.

At a campaign kick-off event in Jamestown, where McCrory spent much of his childhood, he charged that the state's power elite has kept the "same political machine in office that has caused so much harm to our government and our economy."

He and his wife, Ann, moved back to Jamestown, outside Greensboro in Guilford County, after McCrory's seventh term as Charlotte mayor. 

"I am proud to return back home to officially announce that I will run for governor," McCrory said. "We're going to fix this broken government and we're going to fix this broken economy here in North Carolina."

Taking the stage before a crowd of supporters to The Who's "We Won't Get Fooled Again," McCrory repeated that sentiment over and over Tuesday about the Democratic leadership in the Executive Mansion since 1993.

Pat McCrory McCrory: 'We won't get fooled again'

"The bosses that brought us the current governor and the governor before that, they are looking out right now for another leader from their ranks," he said. "They want to hold on to their power and the status quo of failed leadership... We won't get fooled again."

He reiterated his legislative priorities, which he laid out Monday in an interview with WRAL News, which include paying teachers for performance, opening up North Carolina for more energy exploration and changing the system of incentives the state uses to attract businesses.

With a humorous anecdote about a recent trip to the Division of Motor Vehicles, McCrory said government inefficiency and waste has contributed to the lagging state economy.

"We are going to have to do more with less," he said. "We're all doing more with less – in our family households, in our small businesses – and we're going to have to demand the same thing from government." 

McCrory said Monday that the departure of Perdue from the 2012 gubernatorial campaign won't alter his message of overhauling North Carolina state government.

"Our schedule has not changed. Our message won't change and our strategy won't change," McCrory said. "This scenario is one we saw potentially happening, so it didn't come as a huge surprise because we knew she's been in trouble for various reasons, and part of it was me being a strong candidate."

Though McCrory, who narrowly lost to Perdue in the 2008 general election, is the presumptive nominee for the Republican party, he is expected to face two challengers in the May primary – Leigh Thomas Brown and Douglas Schell.

Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and state Rep. Bill Faison of Orange County have announced that they'll run in the Democratic primary, and a half dozen others are considering throwing their names in the race before the filing period begins Feb. 13.

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  • nobama Feb 2, 2012

    This guy will be a great Governor especially after what we have just had.

  • Randy Cox Feb 1, 2012

    "Paying teachers for performance" is a non-starter and a REALLY bad idea, and McCrory knows it. If he doesn't he's ignorant of reality or a liar. The concept sounds so nice until you fully analyze the repercussions. What will happen is that failing students will be mislabeled as autistic or "special ed" and no one will want to teach at "failing" school. The good schools (i.e. wealthy schools) will get better while the poor schools (i.e. poor schools) will get worse... much worse.

    Every teacher knows that a student's performance is usually DIRECTLY proportional to the education and interest of his/her parents. Consequently, parents with little education and those who work hard back-breaking jobs lack the time, energy, and the talent to meaningfully help their children. This is an inconvenient truth for McCrory.

    Wait, maybe McCrory is proposing more money for additional staff to help students who are behind! Nahh, that's only something a DEMOCRAT would propose.

  • Randy Cox Feb 1, 2012

    Vote down "power elite?"

    That's mighty ironic coming from the someone representing the party of Art Pope and the Koch brothers.

  • you are always right Feb 1, 2012

    "Just to clarify: Voting against the "power elite" would mean to vote against Art Pope's circle of republicans."

    Amen. Anyone who doesn't see that the Snow/Davis race was bought outright by the millionaire elite of this state is voting with their blinders on.

  • Snookyone Feb 1, 2012

    Just to clarify: Voting against the "power elite" would mean to vote against Art Pope's circle of republicans.

  • archmaker Feb 1, 2012

    exactly who is this 'elite' that the gop speaks of? and how exactly is the 'elite' different than background of the person they put forward? do they not have money, power, education? are they not 'elite' themselves?

    the boogieman 'elite' ... makes me think that the 'elite' is the gop's version of blaming it on 'the man.'

  • Objective Scientist Feb 1, 2012

    "paying teachers for performance"? In that proverbial ideal world this makes perfect sense and is the way it should be. K-12 education in NC (or anywhere) is not part of any ideal world... it is the REAL world. Very early in my post-college years I taught general math, applied business math, and health/fitness in a NC high school. Conscientious, motivated, truly caring about my students... I was up late every night preparing to teach and help my students learn. I developed some great lesson plans that I could never carry out because of some unruly, unmotivated students who could care less about being in school and who had been instructed by one/both parents to "don't take any (another word for 'feces') off any of your teachers/administrators". Having good and experienced teachers observe teachers teach and evaluate what they do... is one thing. To evaluate teachers solely on how their students perform - is yet another thing - and patently UNFAIR!!!

  • Objective Scientist Feb 1, 2012

    Before beginning comment - I am a VERY INDEPENDENT independent.

    I'll take McCrory's plea to "vote down 'power elite' " a step further. Let's vote down ANY candidate, new or incumbent, who indicates in their campaign that they are "doing business as usual". How will we know that? If their campaign consists mostly of "putting down" (negative campaigning) their opponent as opposed to focusing on what THEY stand for and will attempt to do - if they demonstrate NO independent/creative thought by telling us what they stand for by simply "parroting" standard, boiler-plate partisan party dogma - if they respond to questions in like manner, and never truly answer the questions... need I go on? If ANY - Dem or Repub - campaigns in the manner I describe - they are "business as usual" and we DO NOT need that... vote them OUT! Problem with this... we may have no one for whom to vote, and that is a true conundrum!

  • helloworld Feb 1, 2012

    "paying teachers for performance" let's see how fair that is...One year, I had 7 children who never passed the EOG in reading or math, despite read aloud, separate settings, extended time, remediation and retesting....now, bless their sweet hearts....you just can't get blood from a turnip, and paying teachers based on scores (I assume) just isn't right.

  • ljohnson247 Feb 1, 2012

    Vote for change - let McCrory know what is important to you and if he does not work toward that, then in 2016 vote for another. The Dems will raise taxes to funds all their social programs and groups for votes - vote them out.

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