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« Morning Thoughts: MittMentum | Blog Home Page | Labor Spat Growing In NV »

McCrory Joins NC Gov Race

After months of bitter feuding in the Democratic primary, the party still seems poised to maintain the governor's mansion as North Carolina Governor Mike Easley is forced out by term limits. Lieutenant Governor Beverly Perdue and Treasurer Richard Moore are feuding over school tuition increases and development of a region known as Roanoke Rapids, and while the fighting has gotten ugly at times, it's better than the Republican field. Each candidate on the other side of the aisle is barely known by anyone.

But all is not lost for the GOP: Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory officially entered the race yesterday, just four months before the primary. The entry is no surprise. McCrory has been making calls to top Republicans around the state for a few weeks, and the state Board of Elections is still trying to determine whether the $600,000 in his Mayoral campaign account is eligible for a statewide race.

Democrats have held the governor's mansion in North Carolina for four consecutive terms, and the state is one of a very few in the South where the Democratic Party has yet to collapse. Still, a recent poll for McCrory showed him running three points ahead of Perdue and a point behind Moore in general election matchups.

McCrory's biggest challenge will be getting through a primary that, while boring, has been going on for months. Attorney Bill Graham, former State Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr and State Senator Fred Smith are all running to the right, likely leaving the middle to McCrory. The same poll from November showed McCrory up just one point on Smith in a primary, giving the other candidates a chance to pile on.