Former Gov. Pat McCrory announced Wednesday that he will weigh another run for governor in 2020 and a campaign for U.S. Senate in 2022 — but is not interested in running for the U.S. House.

In the meantime, he’ll spend the next few years focusing on building his media influence, teach at a university and pitch a book proposal.

McCrory made the announcement on his radio program on WBT. He said he’d weigh a gubernatorial bid between now and December 2019. A U.S. Senate decision would come later. The 2022 race is expected to be open with the impending retirement of U.S. Sen. Richard Burr.

McCrory did definitively say he would not run for Congress in the 9th Congressional District, which could head to a special election amid an investigation into absentee by mail election fraud.

What McCrory will do in 2019

Between now and then, McCrory said he would double down on his media platform at WBT, exploring syndication and podcasting. We’d made the argument here that he should do just that a few weeks ago.

McCrory will also accept a teaching position at a university, he said, though he said he couldn’t identify which school until later. The former governor had once had an offer to teach at Duke University, but it was withdrawn after protest from students and faculty there.

McCrory said he is also putting together proposals for two books. One is tentatively titled “Hard Lessons,” and will detail 10 ideas he’s gleaned over his years in public service. McCrory said he’s currently shopping the proposals to publishers.

The decision stems from the goals McCrory hopes to accomplish in the rest of his life, he said. These include:

  • Continuing to be a public policy and public opinion influencer, weighing in on on decisions at the city, state and national level.
  • Reaching out to the next generation and preparing new leaders.
  • Serving as a role model for how to have constructive disagreement and changing the tone in America.
  • Helping provide solutions to complex issues.

What this means for 2020

A campaign for governor in 2020 would likely set him up with a bruising primary battle against Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who has not-so-secretly been campaigning for governor for months.

The U.S. Senate campaign would likely have an easier road. It’s noteworthy that McCrory specified 2022 and not 2020 — and indication that U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis will, in fact, run for re-election. He has not definitively said yet.

McCrory had also been considered a potential front-runner for the 9th District in a special election. His announcement opens the door for more entrants in a future race. Outgoing U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger has said he would not run again.

Cover photo of former Gov. Pat McCrory by NCDOT

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