BRADENTON, Fla. – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper began announcing his new administration amid political turmoil that prompted him to challenge a recently enacted law restricting his election board appointments.
Cooper, a Democrat who took office Jan. 1, faces a Republican-dominated General Assembly with enough votes to override vetoes. It has taken steps to strip the governor of other powers.
"It is the honor of my life to be your governor, and to work for all of North Carolina," Cooper, the state's former attorney general, tweeted afterward.
On Thursday, many ceremonial inaugural festivities planned for this weekend were postponed due to forecasted inclement weather.
Cooper defeated Republican Pat McCrory's bid for a second term in November.
In December, after McCrory called a special session to appropriate funds for hurricane victims, the legislature called a series of back-to-back special sessions passing bills taking away some of the governor's appointments to election and education boards, subjecting his cabinet appointees to Senate approval, and decreasing the number of employees under his control to 425 from 1,500.
Cooper filed a lawsuit Dec. 30 challenging Senate Bill 4, which established an eight-member board to oversee state and county elections and restricted the governor to four appointees – two of which must be Republicans.
A tie vote on the eight-member panel would mean that any decision would die.
"This complex new law passed in just two days by the Republican legislature is unconstitutional and anything but bipartisan," Cooper said on his Twitter page, calling the bill an "unconstitutional legislative overreach."
He said Thursday that he may file additional suits challenging other bills passed in December.
Among his appointments during his first week in office, Cooper appointed Charlie Perusse as state budget director.
Perusse, most recently the chief operating officer for the University of North Carolina system, previously worked as state budget director under former Gov. Bev Perdue and as a lead fiscal analyst for the legislature.
Attorney William McKinney was appointed the governor's legal counsel.
McKinney served as special counsel to Cooper, who most recently was the state attorney general.
Jim Trogdon was selected to head the Department of Transportation.
Trogdon, a civil engineer, left the DOT in late 2013 as chief deputy director to work for SAS Institute Inc.
Cooper's appointments must be confirmed by the Senate.