NORTH CAROLINA
     Nov. 6, 2012 Governor

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+Pat McCrory (R)
2,440,707
54.62%
Walter Dalton (D) 1,931,580
43.23%
Barbara Howe (L) 94,652
2.12%
write-ins 1,356
 0.03%

4,468,295

Plurality:  509,127 votes (11.39 percentage points).
 NC State Board of Elections




REPUBLICAN PICK-UP
Notes: 
Gov. Bev Perdue (D) announced on Jan. 26, 2012 that she would not seek re-election.  Democrats had held the governor's office for five terms since the 1992 election, but the political tides were shifting.  In 2010, Republicans achieved historic wins, flipping both chambers of the state legislature and gaining sizeable majorities  (>)The slow economic recovery (>) and several scandals made Perdue "the least popular governor in the U.S." in June 2012.  In November, former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R),defeated Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton (D) by a comfortable margin.  Also on the ballot was Barbara Howe (L), a frequent candidate.

McCrory officially announced his candidacy on Jan. 31, 2012.  He was also the Republican nominee for governor in 2008, losing to Perdue.  McCrory served seven terms as mayor of Charlotte from 1995-2009, and on the Charlotte City Council from 1989-95, while at the same time working for more than two decades for Duke Energy.  Currently he is a partner at
 McCrory & Company, a sales and client development consulting firm, and, from Jan. 2010 has worked as senior director of strategic initiatives for Moore & Van Allen.

Prior to being elected lieutenant governor, Dalton served six terms in the state Senate and worked as an attorney.  He annouced his candidacy on Jan. 26 after Perdue bowed out.

In the May 8 Democratic primary, Dalton defeated U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge by 45.86% to 37.99% with four other candidates rounding out the field.  On the Republican side, McCrory tallied 83.40% of the vote, followed by five candidates in single digits.

Dalton and McCrory participated in two debates organized by the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation:

Oct. 16 - UNC TV studios in Research Triangle Park (>).

Oct. 24 - North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount (>).

The North Carolina race occurred against the backdrop of the presidential campaign.  In 2008 Barack Obama had carried the state  by just 0.32 percentage points (14,177 votes out of more than 4.3 million tallied), and in 2012 it was again a battleground state.  Indeed, such was North Carolina's significance that Democrats selected Charlotte as the site of the 2012 Democratic National Convention (+)  The convention, held from Sept. 4-6, put a national spotlight on the state.  Two months later, the Romney-Ryan ticket carried North Carolina by a 50.39% to 48.35% margin.

FollowTheMoney.org reported the McCrory campaign received contributions totaling $12.2 million compared to $4.0 million for the Dalton campaign (>).  Facing South reported outside groups spent $8.1 million on the North Carolina governor's race, including $4.9 million spent by the Republican Governors Association.


Campaign Managers
:
Pat McCrory:  Russell Peck
(Feb. 2012)  Director of external affairs for America's Natural Gas Alliance, July 2011-Feb. 2012.  Executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, Dec. 2009-June 2011.  New Jersey Victory director, July-Dec. 2009.  North Carolina Victory director, July 2008-Feb. 2009.  Director of congressional affairs for the Republican Party of Florida, Jan.July 2008.  Account manager at Enwright Consulting, July 2007-Jan. 2008.  Florida organizational director on John McCain 2008, Jan.-July 2007.  Director of voter registration for the Republican Party of Florida, May 2005-Nov. 2006.  Special assistant at the U.S. Department of Labor, Jan.-May 2005.  Southwest Florida field director for Bush-Cheney '04, Jan.-Nov. 2004.  B.S. in finance, English from Florida State University, 2003; earlier attended Oklahoma State University.

Walter Dalton:  Caroline Valand
(2012)  Chief of staff to Lt. Gov. Dalton from 2009.  Executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party, 2005-09.  National political director for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, 2001-05.  Executive director (1999-2000) and political director (1998 cycle) of the North Carolina Senate Committee.  Worked at a political consulting firm in Washington, DC.  M.A. in legislative affairs from The George Washington University; B.A. in political science and history from UNC Chapel Hill.


See also:
Chris Kromm.  "Big Money plays big role in North Carolina elections."  Facing South, Nov. 14, 2012.

Bob Geary.  "Pat McCrory, man of mystery."  Indy Week, Oct. 8, 2021.

John Dunbar and Paul Abowd.  "North Carolina governor's race awash in out-of-state funds."  The Center for Public Integrity, Sept. 5, 2012.

Daniel C. Vook.  "North Carolina Democrats Face Uphill Climb in Governor's Race."  Stateline, Sept. 4, 2012.

Daniel P. Gitterman, Peter A Coclanis, and John Quinterno.  "Recession and Recovery in North Carolina: A Data Snapshot, 2007-12."  UNC Global Research Institute, Aug. 2012.

Tom Jensen.  "Poll: Perdue is the least popular governor in the U.S."  Public Policy Polling, June 15, 2012.

David Catanese.  "Gov. Perdue won't seek re-election."  Politico, Jan. 26, 2012.

Doug Heye.  "Why North Carolina's Perdue Is the Most Endangered Governor.  U.S. News, Sept. 29, 2011.

[Client Alert].  "2010 North Carolina Election Analysis."  Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Nov. 3, 2010.







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