Republican Pat McCrory is now North Carolina's governor after being sworn in Saturday at the old state Capitol. The low-key ceremony lasted only about 15 minutes.
Former governor Beverly Perdue handed over the state seal, and chief Justice Sarah Parker administered the oath of office to the former Charlotte mayor in the old House chambers.
McCrory's wife, Ann, other family members and McCrory’s incoming Cabinet attended the ceremony, which came a week before the public inauguration. McCrory said he wanted his administration in place as the Legislature convened this coming week in Raleigh.
In brief remarks, McCrory told the invited guests he’s ready to get down to work.
"Our goal was to lead, to govern and to serve with a purpose, and that’s what we’re going to begin doing today," he said. "We’re going to have some tough work ahead of us, but we all love our state and we care for our next generation of leaders, so they have the same quality of life that we’ve enjoyed for so many years."
McCrory is the first Republican governor since Jim Martin left office in 1993. He was elected in November in his second try for the office. He lost in 2008 to Perdue, but defeated Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton this time, after Perdue chose not to seek re-election.
Watch a video of Saturday’s ceremony on governor McCrory’s new website, www.governor.nc.gov
CELEBRATING ‘WILMINGTON 10’ PARDONS
At another ceremony Saturday in Wilmington, another bit of North Carolina history. In one of her last acts in office, Gov. Beverly Perdue granted pardons to the so-called Wilmington 10. The residents were wrongly convicted 40 years ago in a notorious prosecution that led to accusations the state was holding political prisoners. On Saturday, surviving members of the Wilmington 10, their families and supporters celebrated the pardons in a ceremony at Gregory Congregational United Church of Christ in Wimington. The 10 were sentenced and some spent years in prison after the firebombing of a Wilmington grocery store during three days of violence.
GUN SALES RISE IN CHARLOTTE
Across the nation, Americans are responding to last month’s shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and other recent gun violence - by buying guns. And that’s the trend here in the Charlotte area as well. The Charlotte Observer reports this morning that 1,971 people applied for handgun purchase permits in Mecklenburg County in December. That’s up from 860 in the same month a year ago, according to the Mecklenburg Sheriff’s Department. A deluge of requests has the department working overtime, the paper reports. The department says concealed carry permits are on track to rise for the seventh straight year.
S.C. PLEDGES FUNDS FOR CYBERSECURITY
South Carolina legislators say they're willing to spend whatever it takes to prevent another massive security breach in state government. House and Senate leaders of both parties say cybersecurity will be a top priority for the 2013 legislative session, as they delve into the hacking last September of millions of taxpayers' filings with the Department of Revenue. Legislators acknowledged Thursday having no idea what needs to happen or what it will cost. Gov. Nikki Haley recommends that the state spend more than $40 million on computer systems and security in next year’s budget. That includes $20.2 million to repay a loan the revenue agency received to cover contracts she signed after learning of the breach in October.