Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue narrowly defeated Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory to become the first female governor of North Carolina Tuesday night.
With 95 counties reporting complete results, Perdue had nearly 50 percent of the vote over McCrory’s 47 percent, according to the N.C. State Board of Elections.
“Thank you for making history tonight,” Perdue told supporters in Raleigh.
Perdue, the daughter of parents who never finished high school, said during a campaign stop just days before the election, “I’m all about breaking down glass ceilings,” reported the Associated Press.
Perdue also became the state’s first female lieutenant governor when she was first elected in 2000. The race between McCrory and Perdue had been too close to call all the way up to the election, with polls alternately giving the edge to each of the candidates or reporting a dead heat.
Perdue succeeds Democratic Gov. Mike Easley, who could not run again because of term limits. Her win continues the trend of North Carolina favoring Democrats in the governor’s office, despite some rough recent years that saw several state-level Democrats face corruption charges.
McCrory ran on his 14-year record as mayor of Charlotte, the city’s longest serving mayor, and made the case to tie Perdue to what he called the “culture of corruption” in Raleigh.
But political precedent may have been too much for McCrory to overcome, especially in an election years with conditions so unfavorable to Republicans.
“In North Carolina…a Democrat has won the governor’s race in all but three elections in the last 100 years,” reported stateline.org.