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McCrory ends mayoral aspirations, higher office on the horizon

http://66.225.205.104/SO20081212.mp3

Mayor Pat McCrory is serving a record seventh term in office. Now, he says it's time to move on. "Although I will not seek reelection as mayor, this will hopefully not be my last position in an elective office. I will continue to explore and strongly consider running for elective office at either the state or federal level," he says. Although the Republican lost a tight race for governor to Bev Perdue, he says he's willing to try again. "When I ran for governor I had a very strong aspiration to change the culture of corruption and the culture of inaccessibility in state government and I think that message is resonating," says McCrory. He also says he's intrigued by Congress, but wouldn't give any other specifics. McCrory says he made the decision not to seek another mayoral term back in January, no matter the outcome of the gubernatorial race. During McCrory's media briefing about his plans, a reporter asked whether he's relieved to be moving on. He answers with a laugh, "Yeah! I made this promise to my wife and myself that I would not change my mind. I'm even more comfortable today with that decision because I also realize that the governor's campaign takes a lot out of you and it takes time to recover." McCrory says in January he let fellow Republican and Councilman John Lassiter know that the mayor's seat would be up for grabs. "Because I think it was my job to help- hopefully- recruit a new successor. And I think John would make an excellent mayor," explains McCrory. Lassiter says he'll announce a decision after the holidays. Democratic councilman Anthony Foxx announced his bid for mayor in October. While talk of his political future was the big news, the mayor noted there's still a lot to do in the remainder of his tenure, such as: expanding the city's mass transit system, holding the line on taxes and pushing the state for support on public safety. Read McCrory's full statement.