Bev Perdue costs Democrats governor’s mansion in NC as Republican waltzes in

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
Font Size:

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, and her Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton bid adieu to the Tarheel State’s circles of power Tuesday night as GOP candidate and former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory easily won the governor’s mansion.

McCrory beat Dalton, who ran after Perdue fumbled her way off the ticket. The Associated Press called the race for McCrory long before the presidential race in the state was decided.

Until late in 2011, Perdue was planning to run for re-election. She later pulled herself off the ticket after a series of mishaps that hurt her political image and likely jeopardized President Barack Obama’s chance of winning North Carolina again after his historic victory there in 2008.

The Daily Caller first reported that Perdue called for the suspension of congressional elections so President Obama could more easily implement his agenda without congressional input or oversight. (RELATED: NC governor recommends suspending democracy to focus on jobs)

“I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover,” Perdue said at a rotary club event in Cary, N.C., in September 2011.

While Perdue and her handlers quickly claimed her call for a temporary end to democracy was just a joke, audio of the remarks that surfaced shortly thereafter showed she wasn’t kidding. (RELATED: Audio shows NC governor struck serious tone on suspending congressional elections)

Shortly after, a sex scandal rocked the Democratic Party of North Carolina when allegations emerged that former party executive director Jay Parmley had sexually harassed male communications staffer Adriadn Ortega.

The party attempted to quiet the scandal by reaching a settlement agreement with Ortega that forced the young male staffer to sign a confidentiality agreement. TheDC eventually broke the story in the spring. (RELATED: Staffer claims sexual harassment by NC Dem official; Party fears credibility “doomed”)

Perdue, though, was apparently aware of the allegations and the cover-up in December 2011 — long before she dropped out of the race in early 2012. When a local reporter asked her in April why she didn’t do anything about the alleged sexual harassment back in December 2011, she responded: “Get over it.” (RELATED VIDEO: Bev Perdue on state Democratic Party sexual harassment scandal: “Get over it”)

After Perdue hurriedly exited the race, Dalton eked out a primary win against Democrats including former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge and state Rep. Bill Faison.

State Republicans quickly lumped Dalton together with his boss Perdue, though, calling him “Bev Part 2” in one ad.

The strategy paid off, as McCrory breezed into the governor’s mansion Tuesday night while the state Democratic party struggled to overcome the sex scandal and other missteps.

Follow Matthew on Twitter

Matthew Boyle