Pope part of McCrory transition team

McCrory says former Rep. Art Pope has good relationship with Perdue administration, will help with transition.

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Mark Binker
RALEIGH, N.C. — Art Pope, a former lawmakers and CEO of Variety Wholesalers, will be a part of Governor-Elect Pat McCrory's transition team.

McCrory met with reporters today in Raleigh, outlining his plans for the next two months and introducing various people who have agreed to work with him as he prepares to take office.

Pope is a financier of conservative causes, putting money into both independent campaign spending efforts as well as think tanks such as the John Locke Foundation. In the eyes of many liberals, he's one of the more polarizing figures in North Carolina politics. 

Asked about what his job would be, Pope demurred, saying only that he was "part of a team transition effort."

McCrory praised Pope's business acumen and experience in state government. 

"And by the way, he has a great relationship with Gov. Perdue also," McCrory said. "What I've attempted to do on my steering committee is get a diverse group of people with ideas and individuals with varied policy philosophies."

Chris Mackey, a spokeswoman for Gov. Bev Perdue, said that the governor and Pope have spoken on the phone several times.

"It's a very professional relationship," she said. 

Other members of McCrory's transition team include former Ambassador Aldona Wos, former national committeeman Ed McMahan, and former state lawmaker Johnathan Rhyne. 

After McCrory finished, spokesman Brian Nick acknowledged that some Democrats would look askance at Pope's presence.

"That's a perception," Nick said. "But Art Pope, arguably, has the best relationships within the Perdue administration of anybody on our team."



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