Many eyes were on the state capital Saturday as Republican Gov. Pat McCrory gave his inaugural address.
With his hand raised and his wife, Ann, by his side, McCrory took the oath of office again, this time in public in front of a large crowd. McCrory consistently polled well outside his party, so it made sense both Republicans and Democrats were there, like Albemarle council member, Democrat Martha Sue Hall.
"I'm a citizen of the state of North Carolina. Why would I not be here?" she said.
McCrory launched into his speech, hitting on transportation, education, the military, and the economy.
"We will lead the way once again, right here in North Carolina," he said.
He also said government has to live "within its means" even though "there is no new money falling out of the sky," a phrase he used before, as recently as Wednesday at an open house in Charlotte.
"We should not ask for more money from you because the result will be more pain for families and small businesses on Main Street," he said.
Many Charlotteans were there, listening in person, like Charlotte City Council's Andy Dulin.
"I think the defeat four years ago will make him a better governor today and forward because now he really knows how special it is," Dulin said.
Charlotte Chamber President Bob Morgan made the trip too. He met McCrory in 1989, when McCrory was just running for city council. When asked if he ever thought he'd see McCrory on that stage, outside the Capitol building, as governor, Morgan said with a laugh, "Well, at some point that light bulb went off, but not in 1989."
Former governors James Martin, Mike Easley and Beverly Perdue also attended.