Pat McCrory was born in Columbus, Ohio, and moved to North Carolina as a youth in the mid-1960s, living in Greensboro. He earned a bachelor's in teaching from Catawba College.
McCrory worked for what is now Duke Energy Corp. for about 30 years, rising the ladder to become an economic development executive. He once worked as a basketball referee.
He won a seat on the Charlotte City Council in 1989 and six years later was elected mayor. He served at the post for a record 14 years.
He ran for governor in 2008 but lost to Democrat Bev Perdue. After leaving Duke Energy he joined his brother's consulting firm and worked for a Charlotte law firm.
McCrory and his wife, Ann, live in Charlotte.
Pat McCrory's second bid for the North Carolina governorship in 2012 has placed him in the almost reverse position from where he stood four years ago when he narrowly lost in 2008 to Democrat Bev Perdue.
In 2008, as Charlotte's mayor, McCrory became a last-minute gubernatorial candidate and won a hard-fought five-candidate primary that left him at a deep fundraising disadvantage in the general election to Perdue, who had been basically running since 2005.
This time, it's McCrory who has been prepping for years for another chance. He stayed involved in statewide Republican politics and boosted his credentials among rank-and-file activists by criticizing the 2010 health care reform law and Perdue's opposition to requiring photo identification for voters. He raised campaign money with the help of Republican governors such as Bobby Jindal and Chris Christie.
McCrory cleared the field of experienced opponents for a Republican primary in May 2012 and won with 83 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, Perdue's decision not to seek re-election meant eventual Democratic nominee Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton had only a fraction of the cash that McCrory's campaign had entering the November election.
McCrory's popularity in Charlotte gave him a record 14 years as mayor in a city that became increasingly Democratic during his tenure. He said he can attract independent and Democratic voters necessary for Republicans to win statewide elections. He's more comfortable with business-oriented Republicans and moderates than with social conservatives — McCrory's tepid support of a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage that passed in May 2012 is proof.
His 2012 campaign platform is similar to his 2008 efforts as seeking to paint Dalton as part of a culture within state government that has largely been controlled by Democrats for the past century. He said if elected he would fix a broken economy and broken state government that Perdue and her predecessor Mike Easley failed to repair.
He said he would work to reduce income taxes, encourage merit pay for teachers, reduce needless regulations and push for an "all of the above" energy strategy that includes offshore and inland energy exploration for natural gas and oil.
McCrory grew his campaign coffers early in the 2012 campaign because he still smarts from being unable to respond effectively on TV to Perdue's 2008 commercials criticizing his mayoral record.
Dalton and Democrats spent the first months of the campaign accusing McCrory of concealing details of his work at a Charlotte law firm and his brother's consulting firm and suggesting he was lobbying unlawfully for companies in state government even while mayor. McCrory vehemently denied the allegations and said he served 14 years as mayor without one question about his integrity.
The wild card for McCrory may be President Obama's re-election campaign. McCrory believes Obama's popularity in North Carolina in 2008 helped create coattails for other Democrats such as Perdue. North Carolina is expected to be a battleground state in 2012.
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Pat McCrory does not currently hold a congressional or gubernatorial seat.
(Last updated by Gary Robertson on July 12, 2012.)