Pat McCrory’s North Carolina story began in Guilford County, where he grew up in Jamestown and graduated from Ragsdale High School. Throughout his early life, Pat’s parents instilled in him the belief that everyone has a personal responsibility to work hard in order to fulfill their God-given potential.
Pat would go on to graduate from Catawba College with a degree in education and political science. He also obtained his North Carolina teaching certificate and was a student teacher at North Rowan High School, where he developed a love and deep respect for the teaching profession.
After graduating, Pat joined a management training program at Duke Energy, where he worked his way up the ladder (literally) from digging ditches and climbing telephone poles to various jobs in human resources and economic development.
After being inspired to make a difference in the city of Charlotte, Pat threw his hat into the political arena and decided to run for an at-large city council seat, and won. He won two more times, serving as Mayor Pro Tem in the process.
In 1995, Pat was elected Mayor of Charlotte and went on to serve a record seven terms. As Charlotte’s longest-serving mayor, Pat McCrory focused on improving the city’s quality of life and helping the city reach its full potential. By keeping taxes low, investing in innovative transportation and infrastructure solutions, and focusing on economic development and public safety, he helped steer the city through a period of rapid economic and population growth to become a regional economic powerhouse. Under Pat McCrory’s watch, property tax rates were reduced, the city’s crime rate fell and Charlotte was named one of the best places in the country to live, work and raise a family.
Pat founded the Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance in 1995 and personally served as a mentor to youth in the city. In 2005, Charlotte was named in the 100 Best Communities for Youth by America’s Promise. Pat was involved in many local charity boards, and served as the honorary chair for the Charlotte chapter of the Alzheimer’s Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation. He also served as the Chair of the Republican Mayors Association and received a presidential appointment to the Homeland Security Advisory Committee. In 2001, Pat founded the North Carolina Metropolitan Mayors Association, a bipartisan group of mayors working together to find common solutions to problems facing North Carolina’s cities.
When Pat was sworn in as North Carolina’s 74th governor in January 2013, North Carolina was hurting. The state had the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the country, the worst business tax climate in the southeast, a broken state government that was hindering job-creation and a neglected education system that was falling behind.
But Pat came to the state capitol as an outsider determined to rebuild North Carolina. In fact, he is the first governor in recent memory that did not come from the state government machine or Washington, D.C. establishment. That’s why he and his team immediately got to work to initiate a Carolina Comeback, but by doing things differently, thinking outside of the box and finding new and bold solutions to North Carolina’s problems.
During his first year in office, Governor Pat signed into law one of the largest income tax cuts in state history, which put more money back into the paychecks of hardworking families and businesses and made North Carolina more competitive with neighboring states. He also implemented a new strategy to recruit jobs to North Carolina, reformed the unemployment system and paid off the state’s irresponsible unemployment insurance debt to the federal government ahead of schedule, saving businesses hundreds of millions of dollars.
In addition to taking steps to improve the economy, Governor Pat has worked tirelessly to improve the state’s education system which had been neglected under previous administrations. For instance, from 2002 to 2012, North Carolina teacher pay fell behind more
than any other state in the country. But by working with the legislature and education leaders, Governor Pat passed the largest teacher pay raise in the country, increased support for third grade reading, helped end the practice of socially promoting students after the third grade, expanded vocational education and invested in high-quality digital learning solutions. He also reinstated the Education Cabinet to bring all aspects of the state’s education system together to implement innovative strategies to improve student achievement.
His administration has also kept the size of government in check while instituting a culture of customer service in all aspects of government operations – from improving information technology systems to fixing the DMV to reduce wait times. Through fiscally responsible policies, Governor Pat and his team turned hundreds of millions of dollars of budget shortfalls inherited from Governor Perdue into a $450 million budget surplus last year.
As governor, he followed through on his campaign promise to implement a long-term strategy for transportation and infrastructure. Now, transportation projects are funded based on need, safety and economic development – not politics. Pat’s administration has also sought to reverse a trend of veterans leaving our state, and make North Carolina the most military-friendly state in the country. As governor, he signed laws giving in-state tuition to veterans and expanded job-training programs to help our returning service men and women find work in North Carolina.
These polices have helped to rebuild North Carolina and set it up for future growth. Since Governor Pat took office, North Carolina has created over 230,000 new jobs, grew to become the 9th largest state in the country and is now a top state for job and personal income growth. Unemployment is lower in every county in the state, and Site Selection Magazine ranked North Carolina as the most competitive state for business recruitment in the country. Additionally, North Carolina’s high school graduation rate is at an all time high. But despite many successes and accomplishment over the past three years, there is still more work to do to rebuild North Carolina and help the state reach its full potential. As he keeps his eye on the future, Governor Pat continues to push necessary reforms to improve education, transportation and infrastructure, public safety and the economy.
Pat has been married to his wife Ann for 26 years and they have a rescued labrador retriever mix named Moe.