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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- New Gov. Pat McCrory says North Carolina can achieve the goals of equality that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. sought through education and unleashing the potential of each individual.

The Republican chief executive spoke to several hundred people gathered Friday for the annual state employees' King birthday observance at a downtown Raleigh church.

McCrory said if King were alive today he would speak about the people who are unemployed and homeless. He reminded the crowd King had traveled to Memphis, Tenn. in 1968 to support the economic well-being of sanitation workers. King was killed during the visit.

McCrory told state workers he understands it hasn't been the best of times for them since the Great Recession. They didn't get a pay raise for three straight years.

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