Outgoing North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue, who will see her one term as chief executive end on Saturday with the swearing in of Republican Pat McCrory, maintains she did the best to handle a difficult situation during her time in office. Absorbing the full force of the nation’s economic recession dealt the state’s first female chief executive a losing hand and she defends her record as being the best possible outcome given the circumstances.
While the governor does deserve high marks for her staunch and relentless defense of public education funding as well as some actions in opposition to an over-reaching Republican Legislature, Perdue and her party were ultimately short on the new ideas North Carolina needs to succeed. She should be thanked for her service, despite the fact that she was the wrong leader at the wrong time for this state.
Perdue was an influential member of the N.C. Senate in her fifth term when she first ran for statewide office, capturing the office of lieutenant governor in 2000. It was a role she would hold for eight years, coinciding with the tenure of Democratic Gov. Mike Easley. It was during this time that Perdue received attention for casting the tie-breaking vote that established the state lottery.
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