UPDATED: Pat McCrory is the governor-elect. But when will he take office?
The N.C. constitution says the governor's term "shall commence on the first day of January next after their election and continue until their successors are elected and qualified." But traditionally the transfer of power is timed to the Junior League of Raleigh's inauguration festivities. Gov. Bev Perdue took the oath of office Jan. 10, 2008.
This year's inauguration is pegged for Saturday, Jan. 12, a day after the league's inaugural ball. But Bob Orr, a conservative and former N.C. Supreme Court justice, argues McCrory needs to be sworn in sooner.
"I would submit that the Constitution leaves no flexibility and that the new governor," he said. "It simply requires the administration of the oath before the governor can perform any duties. The qualifications are limited to age, residency and having been elected. Thus, on January 1, the new governor should take the oath (perhaps in private) then do the inaugural activities of oath taking, parade, ball etc. whenever."
It's a question McCrory is likely to get this afternoon at his press conference in Raleigh. And he did. But McCrory provided no answers. He said no decisions have been made.