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Politics

McCrory Loses Gubernatorial Bid

http://66.225.205.104/SO20081105.mp3

Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory hasn't had to make this kind of speech during his lengthy public career. "I've also believed in short concession speeches. I've never given one. But I've watched others give long ones. And I'm not about to do that whatsoever. But again, I love my state. I love this city," he said. McCrory is serving a record seventh term as mayor, but his strong showing as mayor in races-past was nowhere in sight in the state's urban districts. In Mecklenburg county, governor-elect Bev Perdue was actually ahead of McCrory by 391 votes. Jack Hawke is a veteran Republican strategist who worked on McCrory's campaign. He says McCrory was swimming against an overwhelming tide. "Barack Obama's organization in this state was the best I've ever seen. He put a lot of money in it. He had a lot of professionals working in it, which is probably why we lost all those metropolitan areas. In any other year, based on what he did in the state, Pat would have won," says Hawke. Long-time McCrory supporter Rosemarie Monroe of South Charlotte took the loss hard. "Well I'm absolutely devastated. Because I think he was the man for the job for our state. He's a good man. He's been a fantastic mayor. I think he was a person that could have brought North Carolina along," she said. Monroe is a small business owner who was hoping for a McCrory win because of his stance on lowering business taxes. Some U-N-C Chapel Hill College Republicans commiserated over the loss. Still, senior Tyson Grinstad remained optimistic, saying Republicans have a real shot in four years. "McCrory has done a lot better for a Republican candidate than we've seen in the past. So in that respect it was almost a victory itself because it was so, so close in a big Democratic year," said Grinstad. Riding on the coat tails of that big Democratic advantage was Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue. She said she was looking forward to working with McCrory. Perdue told supporters her administration would be open with the state budget and state contracts. Her campaign focused on jobs and education, but those topics weren't a major of her victory speech. Taking a page from McCrory's playbook, Perdue mentioned that she would bring change to Raleigh. "The first order of business in a Perdue administration will be transparency. And real, real accountability," said Perdue. McCrory ran on a platform of changing what he calls the culture of corruption in Raleigh and he tied Perdue to what he calls the power elite. During his speech he reminded supporters his campaign brought up several issues including public safety and transportation. He added, "And most of all, an open and ethical government. If we have succeeded during this incredible nine month campaign in making a positive difference on any one of those issues, then I'm so glad that we committed this last nine months to this endeavor." After the speech, McCrory said he'll complete his term as mayor. And that he has to figure out how to make a living. In the spring McCrory quit his long-time job as business recruiter at Duke Energy. He would not say whether he will run again for mayor. McCrory says he'll make an announcement later.