Governor-elect Pat McCrory announces transition team - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Governor-elect Pat McCrory announces transition team

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RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) -

Governor-elect Pat McCrory held a press conference in Raleigh Thursday afternoon to announce a staff of friends and colleagues who will help him transition into office.

After introducing the team, McCrory said he hadn't negotiated salaries with any of the dozen or so people standing behind him, adding that most of them would be volunteering. "I'm cheap as the dickens," McCrory said, "with other people's money."

McCrory said John Lassiter will head up the transition committee, and he's well known in Charlotte.  Lassiter served on the Charlotte City Council, and ran against Anthony Foxx for mayor.

McCrory said Durham entrepreneur Thomas Stith will act as Transition Director. Stith was a member of Durham's city council, and he lost a run for mayor in that city. He also unsuccessfully campaigned for the Republican nomination for North Carolina Lieutenant Governor during the 2004 election. 

John Baldwin will be Stith's assistant. McCrory said he's referring to Baldwin as his Chief Operating Officer, and that he "brings a wealth of experience in state government."

McCrory named Jonathan Ryan "head of legal." Ryan is a former state representative.

Kelly Nicholson will take on the job of Director of Policy.  She currently works for the UNC hospital system.

Former Romney employee Chris Walker will be in charge of communications. Walker led the Romney effort in Colorado. McCrory said, "he'll do better here," and laughed.

Finally, McCrory introduced his former boss at Duke Energy, Tony Almeida. McCrory didn't mention Almeida's title at the press conference, but said he'd also be working on the transition. Almeida worked as vice president of large business customers for Duke Energy's U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas organization, but is now retired from the position.

McCrory said the team's job is to identify talent across the state for permanent positions, and to review policy issues in categories such as healthcare, transportation, economic development and taxes. "I want to go over all the options I have," McCrory said. "Should I re-organize any departments? Streamline any processes?"

McCrory said everyone he introduced had signed an ethics pledge, and that they'll all strive to create a culture of customer service.

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