Local Politics

Moore: 'It's been a good ride'

Posted December 17, 2008 4:10 p.m. EST
Updated December 17, 2008 4:46 p.m. EST

— Even as the national and state economies struggle, State Treasurer Richard Moore said he will leave office next month on a high note.

"I'm very proud of what we've done," Moore said Wednesday, noting he has modernized the office, maintained the state's AAA credit rating and kept the state pension fund solid in good times and bad.

"It's been a good ride," he said of his eight years as treasurer.

The ride for one of the state's top Democrats wouldn't have been complete without politics.

Moore ran a slugfest of a primary campaign for governor against Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue. Perdue eventually won the nomination and went on to win the general election in November.

"Was it bruising to me and my family? Yes. Was it bruising, I'm sure, to the governor-elect and her family? Yeah. But isn't that the way the system is designed?" he said.

Moore was soundly criticized for linking Perdue to the Ku Klux Klan and Confederate hats in her husband's convenience stores, but he dismissed the race-baiting charges leveled against him.

"It was factually based. I don't regret anything we did," he said.

Although Moore issued a statement asking for his supporters to back Perdue, some people questioned why he never campaigned for her in the general election.

"I did what they asked me to do," he said.

Outside of the campaign, Moore said he underestimated criticism from state employees and others after he raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from investment fund managers who have contracts with his office to help oversee the state pension fund.

"I know I did my very best to do the right thing every day," he said. "Maybe I didn't worry about it enough how it would look to others."

When Janet Cowell takes over as state treasurer in January, Moore said that he might work in the money management business himself. He didn't rule out returning to politics in the future but said he had no definite plans to seek office again.

Still, he said he isn't worried about his legacy.

"I felt like I've done the type of service and work that voters and taxpayers expected of me," he said.