While North Carolina experienced a predicted blockbuster political year in 2012, the details weren't as anticipated by some.
Charlotte hosted North Carolina's first-ever major party national convention. A proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in North Carolina passed by a whopping 22 percentage points. And although it wasn't shocking that former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory was elected governor, the ease of his victory was surprising, as was his Democratic rival - Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, not Gov. Beverly Perdue. Read AP's political year in review here.
More political headlines below:
--North Carolina’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund, which has spent nearly $1 billion to clean up polluted waters and protect untainted ones, will face a dicey future as legislators convene in January.
--The N.C. House’s new Republican majority whip believes he has the votes to stop North Carolina’s green-energy mandate – the first in the Southeast when it was enacted in 2007 – in its tracks. Rep. Mike Hager of Rutherford County views the mandate as the government unfairly “picking winners and losers” in the marketplace. As chairman of the Public Utilities committee, Hager would like to freeze it at the current 3 percent level.
--Over the cliff? The White House and Senate Republicans sorted through stubborn disputes over taxing the wealthy and cutting the budget to pay for Democratic spending proposals as Monday's midnight deadline for an accord avoiding the "fiscal cliff" drew to within hours.
-- GOP governors like Pat McCrory are walking the balance beam when it comes to the new federal health care law.