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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A candidate seeking to become the next North Carolina Republican Party chairman has quickly announced support from the party's top elected official.

Gov. Pat McCrory endorsed former Wake County Republican Party chairman Claude Pope on Thursday, the day after Pope announced he'd run for state chairman in June. Robin Hayes isn't seeking another term.

McCrory was quoted by Pope's campaign as saying Pope's business and political background makes him well qualified for the post. The new governor says Pope would build the financial and organizational strength to help the party keep winning.

Governors historically often have held great sway over who becomes a party chairman in North Carolina.

Pope has close ties to McCrory. His campaign team includes McCrory's nephew and the governor's 2012 campaign manager.

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