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McCrory travels to California, Arizona for recruiting, political meetings

Gov. Pat McCrory took his first major job recruiting trip outside North Carolina this week, visiting California before traveling to Arizona for political meetings.

McCrory scheduled the five-day trip to coincide with the Republican Governors Association annual meeting, which began Tuesday outside Phoenix.

“Selling NC and getting a great response!!!!” McCrory posted Monday on his official Facebook page.

The governor’s office said the state paid for the first two days of the trip to California but the RGA will pay expenses related to its meeting in Arizona. The association also paid for McCrory to attend a May meeting in New Orleans and a September meeting in Charleston, S.C., his office said.

McCrory began his trip Sunday, departing for economic development meetings in the Silicon Valley area. On Monday, he visited the headquarters of Google and Facebook, where he held a question-and-answer session with the public online.

The two technology companies have data center operations in North Carolina.

Spokesman Ryan Tronovitch said the governor and economic adviser Tony Almeida were targeting tech companies and touting Research Triangle Park as a hub for innovation. They also met with other industries, but Tronovitch declined to provide additional details because the meetings related to economic development matters.

In his Facebook chat, McCrory said the massive tax cut package he signed into law earlier this year is helping his pitch.

“We are getting great response about our new tax reform while visiting companies here in California,” he wrote.

McCrory departed for Arizona on Tuesday and attended a welcome reception that evening at the RGA event in Tempe. On Wednesday, McCrory will make a presentation at the conference about North Carolina’s investments in early childhood education and give remarks at a reception later in the day. He will also attend economic development meetings in Scottsdale, his office said.

His senior adviser, Jonathan Felts, is also attending the Arizona meetings, but his expenses are being paid by the RGA.

The total taxpayer cost for the trip was not immediately available. McCrory flew on a commercial airline to California, riding coach to Charlotte and first class to San Francisco. His return flight leaves Thursday morning.

McCrory’s predecessor, Gov. Bev Perdue, also traveled outside the state, making two trips to China during her tenure to recruit companies to relocate in North Carolina.

Frank: 919-829-4698
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