McCrory Confronts A Big Opportunity
It has been more than a century since Repub-licans controlled the legislature and the governor's office in North Carolina. Pat McCrory has every reason to relish this historic opportunity.
And there will obviously be something of a honeymoon atmosphere in Raleigh, at least in the early months of the new administration. McCrory will have the advantage of heavy Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate. Like all North Carolinians, we will watch with interest and anticipation to see how the new governor shapes his legacy. We wish him well.
Though the legislature and the new governor have a historic opportunity to do pretty much whatever they want to do legislatively, our hope is that McCrory will moderate his views and widen his philosophical vista as he steps into the exciting new role of governor of all North Carolinians, not just those who belong to one party or city or district. Now that he is elected, he no longer has the need he may have felt during the campaign to cater to party ideologues or special interests.
Needed: a Balanced Agenda
We have every hope that McCrory, who had a reputation as a centrist during seven terms as mayor of Charlotte, will set out to pursue a balanced agenda that not only keeps taxes low but also pursues our state's traditional goals of educational excellence. His administration will also face big challenges in improving policies in other areas such as transportation and job training.
The severe stresses that marked the relationship between legislative leaders and outgoing Gov. Beverly Perdue will obviously ease when McCrory takes over - at least at the beginning. He already has a good working relationship with House Speaker Thom Tillis.
The honeymoon is unlikely to last indefinitely. Raleigh columnist Scott Mooneyham recently pointed out the difficulties that have emerged in the past between governors and legislative leaders of the same party - when that party was the Democratic one. "Party and policy had little to do with it," Mooneyham wrote. "Rather, it was all those human foibles and faults - ego, pride, hubris and the like."
'Bipartisan' Pledge Has a Nice Ring
When McCrory first sits down around the table with his council of advisers, he will also find that a number of key elective positions in the Council of State will be held by incumbents returned to office in the recent elections - several of whom are Democrats. They include Auditor Beth Wood, Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, and Treasurer Janet Cowell.
We were impressed to read the governor-elect's assurances to The Charlotte Observer that "I don't want to make the mistake of (becoming) arrogant with ... power or majorities ... I think that's a huge mistake that both parties have made in the past. I don't want that to occur in the future." He also pledged to reach out to Democratic leaders in the legislature along with his fellow Republicans. That has a nice ring to it.
So did McCrory's pledge that "we have a mandate to fix our broken government and fix our economy, and we're going to do it in a bipartisan way as much as possible."
May his deeds match his fine words.
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