Governor-elect McCrory: I think we can do it together

North Carolina Gov.-elect, and former Charlotte mayor, Pat McCrory says he's ready to get to work with Republicans and Democrats alike, just hours after he won the election.

He said he was confident he'll be able to work well with fellow Republicans at the General Assembly, who expanded their majorities on election night, and is planning to work with Democrats as well.

"I think we have a mandate to fix our economy and our broken government and I think we can do it together," McCrory said Wednesday morning. "I think that we have to do it in a bipartisan way as much as possible."

McCrory met with reporters from around North Carolina on Wednesday morning at a Charlotte hotel. The news conference was held just hours after he defeated Democrat Walter Dalton in the governor's race.

McCrory will be the first Republican governor in North Carolina in 20 years.

The former Charlotte mayor had 55 percent of the vote compared to Dalton - the sitting lieutenant governor - at 43 percent with 2.2 million votes counted. Libertarian Barbara Howe had less than 2 percent.

"It was not only a big victory. A significant victory. It was a statewide victory," said McCrory strategist Jack Hawke. "If you look at the returns yesterday, you'll see a candidate that appealed to the whole state and who carried this state in a huge margin."

McCrory ran unsuccessfully against Democrat Beverly Perdue in 2008.

Perdue didn't seek re-election this year, setting the stage for McCrory.

"Bob and I would like to congratulate Pat McCrory on his election as North Carolina's next governor. We spoke briefly this evening by phone and I offered him my full assistance in his transition to our state's highest office," Perdue said in a statement on Tuesday night.

"I have instructed my staff and administration to work closely with members of the governor-elect's team to help ensure a smooth transition. I would like to thank Walter Dalton for his years of service to his community and state."

"Tonight, I ask all North Carolinians to come together, put the acrimony behind us, and work with Governor-elect McCrory to move North Carolina forward," Gov Perdue continued.

McCrory said health care is one of the biggest issues in the state, but he would not discuss specific issues until after he announced his transition team leaders Thursday in Raleigh.

"Even though the Republicans hold a vast majority in the House and Senate, I think it's important [to work together]," McCrory said. "I don't want to make the mistake with any party to become arrogant with your power or majorities."

McCrory benefited from a repeat run for governor and a sizeable cash advantage over Dalton. Jim Martin was the last Republican governor, leaving office in 1993.

McCrory will take the oath of office in January.

"He was a rock start as somebody said not long ago," Hawkes told WBTV. "And I think that will translate on how he will govern the state of North Carolina. "

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.