Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory will officially announce his bid for N.C. governor at a public event in Greensboro today.
McCrory, who narrowly lost to Gov. Bev Perdue in the 2008 gubernatorial election, has been widely expected to run again.
Perdue announced she would not seek re-election Thursday, leaving prospective Democratic candidates with about two weeks to assemble a campaign staff and raise funds before the filing period begins.
Two Democrats — Rep. Bill Faison, D-Orange, and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton — have already entered the gubernatorial race.
McCrory has raised about $2.6 million and has about $2 million in cash on hand, according to campaign finance reports. Perdue had raised about $4 million before she decided not to seek another term.
A statewide poll published Monday by Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning organization based in Raleigh, found that 46 percent of voters would prefer a Democratic governor compared to 45 percent for a Republican governor. But when matched against 13 potential Democratic candidates, McCrory received more support in each case.
Former UNC-system President Erskine Bowles fared the best against McCrory by a 42 to 44 percent margin, while Faison and Dalton trailed McCrory by 19 and 15 percentage points, respectively.
Brian Nick, spokesman for McCrory’s campaign, said the most important issue of the campaign will be the economy.
“Regardless of what your political philosophy is, I think that people recognize that North Carolina really is hurting when it comes to the economy,” Nick said. “And Pat’s message is going to be focused on fixing the broken economy, and also fixing the broken government.”
Nick added that McCrory’s focus on the economy includes maintaining a top-notch education system, and that he’ll take a different approach than Perdue.UNC
“Last time, a lot of people thought that Bev Perdue had an advantage by Obama carrying Carolina,” she said.
“Unfortunately, governors don’t have a lot of influence over the state economy, but people like to think they do.”
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