Bev Perdue Will Not Seek Re-election in 2012

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Gov. Bev Perdue announced Thursday that she will not seek re-election in 2012.

In a statement, Perdue said “I hope this decision will open the door to an honest and bipartisan effort to help our schools.”

“The thing I care about most right now is making sure that our schools and schoolchildren do not continue to be the victims of shortsighted legislative actions and severe budget cuts inflicted by a legislative majority with the wrong priorities,” Perdue said in the statement.

Perdue, the first woman elected governor in North Carolina history, was facing a hard fight for a second term. That would have possibly included a rematch against former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory.

In 2008, Perdue narrowly defeated McCrory in North Carolina's closest gubernatorial contest since 1972.

According to The Washington Post, some names being mentioned as possible replacements are Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.

Dalton announced his intention to run via email on Thursday, saying “I choose to look ahead to a brighter future. I choose progress. I choose a future where public education is the foundation of our economy.”

Bowles has not made any statements, but Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning polling group, said Bowles is the only candidate who hasn't trailed McCrory in their list of possible candidates.

Anthony Foxx said in a statement Thursday he “will spend the coming weeks talking with my family and friends about how I could best serve our city and state, and I ask the public and media for some patience as I work through those conversations.”

Jim Williams with Public Policy Polling said Attorney General Roy Cooper would also be a good candidate. However, Cooper has already announced he will not run for governor.

Locally, Winston-Salem Mayor Alan Joines said Thursday he is not ruling out a run for governor.

“I've run a city going on for 12 years here. We have made great progress in rebuilding an economy, and I think North Carolina is in that same boat needing to rebuild from small towns to large towns. I have some experience in doing that, and it might be fun to think about doing that,” Joines said.

Rep. Brad Miller announced he will not run for another term in Congress. However, Miller told FOX8 he hasn't given running for governor “even the first thought.”

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports another likely candidate for governor is state Rep. Bill Faison, an Orange County Democrat. He told the paper he will make an announcement next week about his plans. When asked if he will run, Faison said “You should probably expect the announcement will be in that direction.”

Former State Treasurer Richard Moore, who lost to Perdue in the 2008 gubernatorial primary, said he is considering a run but doesn't know when he will make a decision.

Moore said he knows how to present the arguments for the Democratic cause but doesn't know if he's the right messenger.

Williams said whoever runs against McCrory would have a difficult time because of an anti-incumbent vibe in the air.

Statement from Gov. Bev Perdue

Like the rest of the nation, North Carolina has been facing difficult economic times — demanding many difficult decisions. I have had to make painful budget cuts in important areas of government. But I believe I have approached this challenge in a way that is consistent with my values and the values that have made our state a wonderful place to live and raise a family. I have spent my tenure in office – and, in fact, my adult lifetime – fighting for things that I care deeply about. And as anyone who knows me will tell you, I do not back down from tough fights.

But I understand this: We live in highly partisan times, where some people seem more worried about scoring political points than working together to address the real challenges our state faces. And it is clear to me that my race for re-election will only further politicize the fight to adequately fund our schools. A re-election campaign in this already divisive environment will make it more difficult to find any bipartisan solutions.

The thing I care about most right now is making sure that our schools and schoolchildren do not continue to be the victims of shortsighted legislative actions and severe budget cuts inflicted by a legislative majority with the wrong priorities. Therefore, I am announcing today that I have decided not to seek re-election. I hope this decision will open the door to an honest and bipartisan effort to help our schools.

To those of you who have supported me throughout my years of public service, I will always be grateful for the confidence you have placed in me. In my remaining months in office, I look forward to continuing to fight for the priorities we share, by putting North Carolinians back to work and investing in our children's future. To my children and grandchildren, and especially to my husband Bob, thank you for always being there for me – especially as I've weighed this difficult decision.

Thank you all, and God bless North Carolina.