McCrory focuses on building for future in seeking second term as governor

Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday that he wants four more years in office to lay the groundwork for an economic expansion that will benefit future generations of North Carolinians.

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Matthew Burns
Cullen Browder
KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday that he wants four more years in office to lay the groundwork for an economic expansion that will benefit future generations of North Carolinians.

One day after announcing online that he plans to seek a second term, McCrory formally launched his re-election campaign at a Kernersville printing company, near where he grew up in Jamestown.

"The heart and soul of my values is right here in the Triad," he told a cheering crowd.

McCrory said he took such values as hard work, setting goals and attacking problems to Raleigh three years ago to fight a "bloated bureaucracy" and help right a reeling economy. After rapid growth in the 1980s and 1990s, North Carolina "had lost some of its mojo" during the recession and was losing business to other states as tax rates climbed.

"We did what every family and every business had to do – we became more efficient, we prioritized, we solved problems," he said of his administration. "We made the tough decisions, and we took action. We led, and we've gotten results that have been positive for the people of North Carolina."

McCrory ticked off a list of accomplishments since he took office: corporate and individual tax rates have been lowered, thousands of jobs have been created, the unemployment rate has dropped, the debt owed by businesses statewide to the federal government was paid off early, teachers have received raises, the Medicaid health insurance system for the poor and disabled is being revamped, more highway projects are getting funded and a $2 billion bond package to upgrade state infrastructure is on the March primary ballot.

"Some say we could do better, but the results show this: nobody has ever done it better than this administration," he said, noting that North Carolina is the only Southern state to rank in the top 10 nationally in both job creation and income growth in recent years.

Now, he said, he wants to continue those trends so North Carolina's youth will have growing opportunities in the future, while rolling out programs to improve education, transportation, mental health, energy production and public safety.

"We came to Raleigh to reform, to solve problems and put a strategy in place to prepare this state for the next generation," he said. "We cannot and we will not accept these permanent insiders to take our state backwards and reverse the gains we've made."

Democrats, meanwhile, said the changes McCrory has championed have benefited big business while hurting middle-class families.

"Thanks to Gov. McCrory, middle-class families have less money in their pockets, wages have stagnated and North Carolina’s best teachers are leaving for other states – all while giant corporations and those at the top have received record breaks," Ford Porter, a spokesman for the North Carolina Democratic Party, said in a statement.

But McCrory supporters said they look forward to re-electing him next November.

"We can't do it overnight, but we are making progress, significant progress," Joyce Cotten said.

"I think he is the No. 1 person who can bring both sides of the aisle together," Derek Parte said.

No other Republican has announced plans to run for governor next year. Attorney General Roy Cooper and Durham attorney Ken Spaulding are the only Democratic candidates to date.


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