Not even two years after voting him out of office, North Carolina Democrats have enlisted an unlikely ally in their latest political battle: former Gov. Pat McCrory.

McCrory stood with the state’s four other living former governors at a press conference on Monday opposing two proposed constitutional amendments that would move appointment powers from the governor’s office to the General Assembly.

[Longleaf story: 6 N.C. constitutional amendments you will vote on in 2018, ranked]

And he pointedly took on his own party in advocating for maintaining the current separation of powers.

“If any of you want to take on the responsibilities of governor, then have the courage to run for governor. And win. Earn it,” McCrory said at a press conference with the five living former governors on Monday.

The quote was conveniently curated by Sen. Jeff Jackson, an influential Democrat, in a highly sharable Medium post.

McCrory’s status as a Republican and the most recent departure from the Executive Mansion has made his stance on the amendments the most notable. He’s also an active member of North Carolina’s political world bucking his own party leadership while still considering another run for governor in 2020.

That’s made him a man of the moment for the state’s more liberal party, a la U.S. Sen. John McCain during the health care debate at the federal level.

Rep. Darren Jackson, Sen. Terry Van Duyn and other party leaders have all cited McCrory’s words on social media in the past few days.

Of course, should McCrory officially join in the Republican primary for the 2020 gubernatorial nomination, don’t expect these fond feelings to last.

But for now, at least, McCrory is getting positive attention for the first time in years.

Cover photo of former Gov. Pat McCrory by NCDOT.


  1. I think the power of him taking an official position on these amendments is that all the past governors agree and stand together.—much more important that his party. I think they have experience and wisdom to give sound advice.


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