With North Carolina Governor-Elect Roy Cooper poised to take office just minutes after midnight on New Year’s Day, former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory is moving back to his hometown to ponder his next steps.
“They’re all trying to get their desks cleared out,” said McCrory’s longtime associate John Lassiter. “They’ve got to get out of town.”
McCrory and his wife, Ann, kept their home in Charlotte’s Myers Park neighborhood throughout his four-year term in Raleigh. It was unclear Wednesday how long they plan to stay in Charlotte as McCrory considers job options, including the possibility of his taking a post in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.
McCrory’s communications director, Josh Ellis, said Wednesday morning he had no information on McCrory’s next steps after leaving the governor’s office.
Cooper, a Democrat, ousted McCrory in a close race that wasn’t settled for almost a month, as McCrory waited for recounts and ballot protests to be resolved before conceding. The Republican-controlled legislature then held a special session earlier this month to pass bills limiting Cooper’s power, which McCrory signed into law.
Although the public inauguration ceremony isn’t until Jan. 7, Cooper announced Tuesday he’d be sworn in as early as possible on Jan. 1, the first day allowed by the state constitution.
McCrory left Charlotte as a popular former mayor, winning seven terms to serve from 1995 to 2009. He returns as a far more controversial figure, having garnered fierce criticism over issues ranging from the state’s handling of coal ash spills by his former employer, Duke Energy, to his quick signature on House Bill 2, a bill that has cost Charlotte and the rest of the state jobs and sports events. His final days in office have featured an explosion of hostility between state government and the city of Charlotte, as attempts to repeal HB2 fell apart amid mutual recriminations.