Governor of North Carolina

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North Carolina Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $5,438,279
Term limits:  Two consecutive terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  North Carolina Constitution, Article III, Section I
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Pat McCrory.jpg
Name:  Pat McCrory
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 5, 2013
Compensation:  $141,265
Next election:  November 8, 2016
Last election:  November 6, 2012
Other North Carolina Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Governor of the State of North Carolina is an elected Constitutional officer, the head of the Executive branch, and the highest state office in North Carolina. The Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms.

As of December 2012, North Carolina is one of 24 Republican state government trifectas.

Current officer

The 74th and current governor is Pat McCrory (R). McCrory defeated Walter Dalton (D) in the November 6, 2012 general election. He assumed office on January 5, 2013.


The state Constitution addresses the office of the governor in Article III, the Executive Department.

Under Article III, Section I:

The executive power of the State shall be vested in the Governor.


Current Governors
Gubernatorial Elections
Current Lt. Governors
Lt. Governor Elections
Breaking news

Candidates for the office of the governor must be:

  • at least 30 years old
  • a citizen of the United States for at least five years
  • a resident of North Carolina for at least two years

Additionally, no Governor-elect may take office until she has taken an oath before the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.


North Carolina elects governors in the Presidential elections, that is, in leap years. For North Carolina, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the first day in the January following an election. Thus, January 1, 2013 and January 1, 2017 are inaugural days.


See also: North Carolina gubernatorial election, 2012

Bev Perdue (D) did not run for re-election. Pat McCrory (R) defeated Walter Dalton (D) in the November 6, 2012 general election.

Governor of North Carolina General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Walter Dalton 43.2% 1,931,580
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPat McCrory 54.6% 2,440,707
     Libertarian Barbara Howe 2.1% 94,652
     Write-in Various 0% 1,356
Total Votes 4,468,295
Election Results via NC State Board of Elections.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

North Carolina governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait one term before being eligible to run again.

North Carolina Constitution, Article III, Section 2, Paragraph 2

No person elected to the office of Governor ... shall be eligible for election to more than two consecutive terms of the same office.


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancies are addressed under Article III, Section 3.

The Lieutenant Governor-elect takes office as the Governor is the Governor-elect fails to qualify. The Lieutenant Governor also takes over as Governor any time the sitting governor dies, resign, or is removed from office.

If the Governor is absent or unable to discharge the office due to mental or physical illness, the Lieutenant Governor becomes the Acting Governor.

If the Governor wishes to declare his temporary or permanent inability to discharge the office, he does so in writing be making a declaration to the Attorney General. The Governor may also resume his office by making a similar written declaration to the Attorney General.

The General Assembly may take a vote and declare, by a two-thirds majority of both chambers, that the Governor is unfit for the office by reason of mental incapacity. The legislature shall then give the Governor notice and hear the case before a joint session. When the legislature is in recess, the General Council may convene for the same purpose and follow the same procedure.

Removing the Governor from office for any other reason must be done as an impeachment.


North Carolina

Excepting the Governor's use of the State Seal of North Carolina and the gubernatorial power to make vacancy appointments, all Constitutional duties are laid out in Article III, Section 5.

The governor heads the Council of State. The governor is responsible for preparing and presenting the state budget to the General Assembly of North Carolina. Additionally,the governor of North Carolina has extensive powers of appointment of executive branch officials, some judges, and members of boards and commissions. The governor serves as Commander in Chief of the state military forces except when they are called into the service of the United States.

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Residing at the official residence of the Governor
  • Making a periodic address to the state legislature concerning the state of North Carolina and giving recommendation to the legislature
  • Regularly monitoring the state budget to ensure that principal and interest on bonds and notes are paid promptly, and "effect[ing] the necessary economies" if revenue will not be sufficient to meet expenditures
  • Granting reprieves, commutations, and pardons, not including convictions for impeachment
  • Convening extraordinary session of the state legislature
  • Nominating and, with consent of the Senate, appointing all offices not otherwise provided for
  • Requiring written information from the head of any administrative department of office on the state of the office
  • Reorganizing the executive branch by making " such changes in the allocation of offices and agencies and in the allocation of those functions, powers, and duties as he considers necessary for efficient administration"
  • Reconvening the regular session of the General Assembly, not more than 40 days after sine die, for the sole purpose of considering bills returned by the Governor to the Assembly
  • Keeping and using "The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina" and signing all commissions granted by the state of North Carolina (§ 10)
  • Making vacancy appointments to all other Executive offices established by the Constitution, including making Interim and Acting appointments when the elected officeholders absence or disability is not permanent (§ 7)

State budget

The budget for the Governor's office in Fiscal Year 2013 was $5,438,279.[1]


See also: Comparison of gubernatorial salaries and Compensation of state executive officers

The Governor's salary is fixed by law and may not be increased or diminished effective during the current term.


In 2012, the governor was paid an estimated $139,590. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


As of 2010, the Governor of North Carolina is paid $139,590 a year, the 20th highest gubernatorial salary in America.

Contact information

Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301

See also

External links

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