RALEIGH — Robeson County’s five-member state delegation — all Democrats — head to Raleigh today for the opening of the General Assembly that for the first time in more than 100 years has both Houses and the Governor’s Office controlled by Republicans.
“I’m going into the session with an optimistic attitude, ” said freshman Rep. Ken Waddell. “I like a challenge.”
Democrats acknowledge that as the minority party in both the Senate and House they will most likely be stifled in moving ahead their political agenda. Robeson County’s delegation, however, believe both Democrats and Republicans can work together in the best interest of all North Carolinians.
‘There will be some battles that we can’t win,” said Rep. Garland Pierce, the senior member of Robeson County’s delegation. “But at the end of the day we (Democrats and Republicans) have to work together if we are to move the state forward.”
The dozens of newcomers arriving at the General Assembly to take their seats as senators and representatives will be greeted by someone with a new job as well — Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
McCrory was slated to visit the House and the Senate today as they hold a one-day organizational meeting to elect leaders and swear in the next edition of the legislature.
McCrory’s visit is unusual. Democratic predecessors Beverly Perdue and Mike Easley rarely visited the Legislative Building during the terms beyond giving the State of the State address, let alone attending opening day.
McCrory was sworn in last weekend.
The organizational gathering is new for the legislature and designed in part to make lawmakers more efficient. The General Assembly will reconvene Jan. 30 to get to business.