Will Pat Be Back?

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory formally announced he would run for reelection in 2016 earlier this week. McCrory is the sixth governor to be elected into office after the state’s constitution was amended in the 1970s to allow governors to serve two consecutive four-year terms. All but one governor, Democrat Beverly Perdue in 2012, took advantage of this change and opted to run for a second term. The previous four such governors were all victorious in their reelection bids: Democrat Jim Hunt in 1980, Republican Jim Martin in 1988, Hunt again in 1996, and Democrat Mike Easley in 2004. After gubernatorial direct elections were introduced in North Carolina during the mid-1830s, governors were elected to two-year terms and were permitted to run for a second term. Several were victorious: Whig Edward Dudley in 1838, Whig John Morehead in 1842, Whig William Graham in 1846, Democrat David Reid in 1852, Democrat Thomas Bragg in 1856, and Democrat John Ellis in 1860. After the Civil War, Conservative Jonathan Worth also won back-to-back elections, though the first was a special election for an abbreviated term.

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