|GOP Governor Daniel Russell|
Elected in 1896. It was the last time
that Republicans controlled both
the Governorship and the legislature
in North Carolina.
Republicans take full control of North Carolina for the first time since the 1890s
- - - - One-Party Dictatorship: Since 1876 out of 31 Governors only three have been Republican.
With a Republican newly elected as governor and a Republican-controlled legislature, North Carolina will soon have its most conservative government in a century.
Republican Pat McCrory, the longtime mayor of Charlotte, easily defeated Walter Dalton last month in the governor’s race. Dalton entered the race after Bev Perdue, a Democratic governor bruised by low approval ratings and battered by the Republican-dominated Senate and House, decided not to run again.
The New York Times reports it has been more than 28 years since North Carolina elected a Republican governor and more than 100 years since both that office and the legislature were controlled by Republicans. As a result, North Carolina is preparing for an ideological shift whose effects could be felt for decades.
“It’s pretty much a stunning change,” said Jeanne Bonds, a Democrat who served as the mayor of Knightdale, N.C. “The Republicans run a social agenda that’s not what many North Carolinians are used to seeing.”
North Carolina has long been a purple state amid the red of the South, with business-minded moderate Democrats populating much of the political landscape and political power being balanced between conservative rural regions and Democratic strongholds in urban centers.
North Carolina Governor-Elect Pat McCrory
North Carolina supported Barack Obama in 2008. But the state began to shift, and an increasingly conservative agenda took hold. The Republicans took over the legislature, pressed for tougher rules on immigrants and a voter identification law, and secured a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
The state gave a narrow victory to Mitt Romney in the election last month.
McCrory has not discussed a conservative social agenda or, really, any political agenda at all. In interviews, he has emphasized only that he intends to run North Carolina like a business with “a culture of customer service.”
“There’s no question that the energy in the Republican Party is coming further from the right and the Tea Party,” said Steven Greene, a political scientist at North Carolina State University. “Which way is he going to go? It’s the big question right now.”
McCrory first ran for governor in 2008 but was beaten by Perdue, then the lieutenant governor, who became the state’s first female governor.
As a mayor on the moderate side of his party, McCrory had bipartisan support and was perhaps best known for revitalizing Charlotte with projects like a light-rail system and the Nascar museum.
His large transition team is dedicated to conservative and free-market ideas, has given millions of dollars to libertarian and conservative groups, including the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation and Americans for Prosperity.
McCrory will have a rare opportunity to swap out as many as 1,000 people who work in eight state agencies, among them the Departments of Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Environment and Natural Resources.
Perdue had less than half that number of appointees to work with, but the Republican-controlled legislature changed the rules in 2010 and allowed the new governor a much larger number of appointees in exempt positions.
Civil Service Reform - This GOP action increasing the number of political appointees to run state government is true reform.
The so-called "non-partisan" civil service is made up of bureaucrats who couldn't give a damn what the people may want. The winner of a Governorship or Presidency needs to be able to implement policy without being blocked at every turn by bureaucracy.
(New York Times)
|Governor-elect Pat McCrory, former Mayor of Charlotte.|