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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Pat McCrory was sworn in as North Carolina’s governor at noon on Saturday, putting a Republican in the Executive Mansion for the first time in 20 years.

Chief Justice Sarah Parker administered the oath to the former Charlotte mayor in the House chambers of the old Capitol building. McCrory’s wife Ann was by his side. Outgoing Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue also participated – transferring North Carolina’s Great Seal.

McCrory becomes governor a week before the public inauguration ceremony slated for downtown Raleigh because he wanted to be installed as the Legislature convenes its two-year session this coming Wednesday. He’ll still participate in the Jan. 12 inauguration.

McCrory’s incoming Cabinet was also to be sworn in Saturday. The new governor will attend a fundraising event Saturday evening for veterans at a Raleigh hotel.

McCrory is the 74th governor for North Carolina. It’s also the first time since Reconstruction that the Republicans have held the governor’s post and a majority in both houses of the Legislature.

Republican leaders pledged to work together to fix North Carolina’s problems.

“I look forward to working with him to further the conservative goal of a lean, efficient government focused on promoting economic growth and encouraging job creation,” offered Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) in a statement issued after the swearing in.

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