McCrory Doesn't Exclude NC Dems In NC GOP Team
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Gov.-elect Pat McCrory said Saturday that he's on a quest to find the best talent for his administration, and it's too soon to say Democrats won't be part of his team.
McCrory told The Associated Press that he's working hard to get his administration in place ahead of taking office in January and trying to find the best talent available to make government function. He said he's not shutting down the possibility that the first GOP governor in 20 years could have Democrats in his cabinet.
"We're not closing any option that's available to us," he said in an interview. "There's a sense of urgency in making these decisions, and also we're going through a strategy and a process to make sure we do it right. We're balancing the two."
McCrory was non-committal when asked whether he planned to fill all of the hundreds of state jobs at his discretion. The Republican-controlled Legislature passed a law last summer that more than doubled the number of state government positions exempt from normal government personnel rules. Critics contend they are patronage positions the next governor can use to reward political allies.
"The transition team is putting together viable candidates of talent for my top level jobs. We have not gotten down to that level at this point in time," he said.
McCrory said he will announce within days when he plans to take the oath of office and take over from outgoing Gov. Beverly Perdue, a Democrat who opted not to seek re-election after narrowly defeating McCrory in 2008. Inauguration tradition would point to a Jan. 12 public swearing-in, but it could be earlier.
Perdue has been "very gracious" helping with the transition, McCrory said, and he's looking forward to his first visit to the Executive Mansion, where he and his wife Ann plan to live.
Besides setting up his administration, McCrory said other details large and small have kept him on the run as he's been since starting his campaign 18 months ago.
He had just returned from the Republican Governors Association conference in Las Vegas, where he discussed setting up online health insurance marketplaces with his future peers. McCrory said he walked out of a Cirque du Soleil show after about 30 minutes because he was close to falling asleep.
"I was too tired," the former Charlotte mayor said. "It was really good, but you've got to realize we have not stopped since election night. We moved very quickly from being a candidate to governing. We haven't stopped."