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By GARY D. ROBERTSON
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory says the departure of Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue from the 2012 campaign won’t alter his message of changing North Carolina state government.

McCrory told The Associated Press on Monday that he’s sticking with the same strategy despite Perdue’s announcement last week she won’t seek re-election. The former Charlotte mayor says he thinks her announcement will free up Democrats to support him. Perdue narrowly defeated McCrory in the 2008 election.

McCrory kicks off his campaign Tuesday in Guilford County.

Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and Rep. Bill Faison are running in the Democratic primary. US Rep. Brad Miller and former State Treasurer Richard Moore said Monday they’re still considering bids, while Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines said he will not run.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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