Gov. Cooper wants to lead by example

Gov. Roy Cooper (Steve Sbraccia/CBS North Carolina)
Gov. Roy Cooper (Steve Sbraccia/CBS North Carolina)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The wintry weather forced Gov. Roy Cooper’s inauguration ceremony indoors this weekend.

During this inaugural speech, Cooper said his eyes are fixed on the horizon.

“I pledge to lead by example. I’ll never stop fighting for North Carolinians,” he said.

He also spoke of the partisan politics that has taken place in recent months.

Cooper said it is not the time to point fingers.

“Don’t let the last few months discourage you. There’s a lot we can accomplish and I can’t wait to get started,” he said.

The governor believes there is common ground on education when he said everyone can agree teachers deserve a raise.

But there are issues where a lot of people don’t agree.

“There are enough bipartisan votes in the legislature right now to fully repeal House Bill 2 with no strings attached. This is not complicated. In fact, it’s very simple. Let them vote,” Cooper said.

Meredith College political science professor David McLennan said Cooper has made it clear repealing HB2 is one of his top immediate goals as governor.

But McLennan said doing so may not be easy.

“This is the way January is starting with a new governor laying out a fairly aggressive set of policy issues, but being met with very strong, conservative leadership in the General Assembly,” McLennan said.

Cooper narrowly defeated Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in November. Cooper, who was officially sworn in early on New Year’s Day, said people are still hurting in the state due to stagnant wages and rising health care expenses.

“I’ll never forget my solemn duty to do what I can to create more opportunities for the folks who have it hard,” the former attorney general said from the Executive Mansion during his 15-minute speech. “And I’ll listen to anyone with a good idea to move our state forward, regardless of his or her political party.”

Cooper also mentioned other highlights of his agenda include returning to embrace renewable energy and improving relations between state and local governments and between law enforcement and communities they serve.

“Everyone is safer when a sense of mutual trust and respect prevails,” Cooper said.

The snow and sleet canceled other inaugural events or moved them to Friday.

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