Metro Weekly

Could Pat McCrory become the next Trump cabinet member?

Fresh off concession, North Carolina governor heads to New York to meet with the president-elect

Pat McCrory - Photo: Office of the Governor.
Pat McCrory – Photo: Office of the Governor.

Don’t cry for Pat McCrory. If the rumors are true, he may already have found a way to rebound from his re-election loss — by serving in the Trump administration.

The embattled North Carolina governor, who became the first incumbent executive of either party to lose re-election in the Tar Heel State, traveled to Trump Tower in New York on Wednesday to meet with President-elect Donald Trump just days after conceding to his Democratic opponent Roy Cooper.

The Trump transition team acknowledged the meeting, but did not divulge any further details about what the two men talked about, according to the News & ObserverMcCrory’s spokespeople have also not commented on the content of the meeting.

“There is a very good rapport between the president-elect and Governor McCrory,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller told reporters on Wednesday morning. “Governor McCrory is someone who the president-elect had the chance to get to know pretty well on the campaign trail.”

Some political prognosticators have suggested that Trump may be considering McCrory for a cabinet position. The two appeared together many times on the campaign trail when Trump would visit North Carolina, and Trump has been known to reward early supporters and Republican allies with cabinet positions. During the summer, when asked whether McCrory could get a job in a Trump administration, the president-elect told the  that it was something he’d consider.

The Trump transition team did tell reporters that Trump admired McCrory’s record on education reform and eliminating burdensome regulations that inhibit job growth. The president-elect is also reportedly fond of McCrory’s stance on energy issues and support for fracking.

McCrory previously worked at Duke Energy Corporation for 28 years, from 1980 to 2008. However, after a pipe containing large amounts of coal ash ruptured and spilled into a nearby river in 2014 — in what would become the third largest coal ash spill in history — McCrory was criticized for intervening on Duke’s behalf to settle lawsuits over environmental regulation. McCrory’s administration was also criticized by opponents who claimed the governor’s office downplayed warnings about the safety of drinking water near leaking coal ash pits.

In an interview with The Charlotte Observer, former Republican Gov. Jim Martin said that McCrory would be a good option for a cabinet position, and speculated that he could be tapped as Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, or Secretary of Energy. Given that Trump has named former banker and prominent investor Wilbur Ross and former presidential rival Ben Carson to the first two positions, as well as McCrory’s work for Duke Energy, Secretary of Energy would appear to be the position for which the outgoing governor is best suited.

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