CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After five days in office, Governor Pat McCrory calls the experience “surreal.”
“The switch from being candidate to governor is a radical shift,” said McCrory.
McCrory returned to his old stomping ground on Wednesday. He visited with friends and former co-workers at Charlotte City Hall.
“Since I walked out of the mayor’s office in December of 2009, I have not returned,” he said.
Less than a week into his governorship, McCrory faces some big challenges. His first priority is making sure the state repairs some “major information systems breakdowns.”
McCrory said those breakdowns could impact Medicaid and Food Stamp distribution.
His next priority will be paying back a $2.8 billion debt to the federal government for unemployment insurance.
“I don’t want to enter the office living on a credit card,” said McCrory.
The Republican governor is also pledging tax reform and vowing to challenge those in the business community who send lobbyists to his office.
“When you have your lobbyists call me to protect your special niche, I’m going to call you and ask what’s your answer to being competitive with other states? We will probably be stepping on the toes of a lot of powerful interest groups if we’re going to reform the tax code,” the Governor said.
McCrory also mentioned that while he and his wife Ann are settling into life at the governor’s mansion, his dog, “Mo” is still here in Charlotte.
“I miss my dog. He’s a great dog. I hope he remembers my name.”