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In Midnight Ceremony, Roy Cooper Becomes NC's 75th Governor

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Office of Governor Roy Cooper
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Roy Cooper is sworn in as North Carolina's 75th governor

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper took the oath of office in Raleigh's capitol building mere minutes into the new year, becoming the state's 75th governor and capping off a narrow victory over outgoing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

The ceremony was held just as fireworks began sprouting across the city and confetti cannons were fired above revelers on Fayetteville Street. State Chief Justice Mark Martin administered the oath in the short ceremony, which lasted 15 minutes. The ceremony was attended by a small group of friends, family, and colleagues.

"It is an incredible honor and privilege to serve as the governor of this great state," Cooper said in brief remarks following the oath. "I recognize the solemn duty that has been placed upon me and the opportunity that the people of this state have given to me. I am honored, and I am grateful."

McCrory, meanwhile, released a video in his final hours in office in which he reflected on a wide range of topics, including his accomplishments in office, and on House Bill 2, which he says may have played a role in his defeat.

"I wish with this manufactured crisis that occurred in Charlotte regarding a social issue that none of us had heard of -- I wish I would have been successful in convincing Charlotte not to start this masquerade of an issue," he said.

In the video, McCrory says he's not sure what he'll do next. He says he's considering opportunities in government and in the private sector, possibly out of the state.