New N.C. governor Cooper builds team as inauguration approaches

FILE- In this June 24, 2016, file photo, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper speaks during a forum in Charlotte, N.C. Cooper, North Carolina's next Democratic governor, has vowed to keep his campaign promises to bend back the rightward course of the state. But with only a 10,000-vote victory over GOP Gov. Pat McCrory and bitter partisan distrust in this deeply divided state, he’s already slipped along the rocky path he must walk to work successfully with the legislature. And Republicans will maintain veto-proof majorities in 2017. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

North carolina's new governor didn't waste any time, taking the oath of office ahead of schedule.

Roy cooper was sworn in just after midnight on New Year's Eve.

The 59-year old Democrat said he's ready to get to work even with those leaders who don't agree with his politics.

Cooper said he'll be working for all of North Carolina. "I recognize the solemn duty that has been placed upon me, and the opportunity the people of this state have given to me," he said.

On Monday, he named new members to his senior staff.

To administer the state budget, Cooper has appointed Charlie Perusse as State Budget Director.

Perusse leaves his job as chief operating officer for the University of North Carolina system to join Cooper’s team. Previously he has worked as state budget director and as a lead fiscal analyst for the N.C. General Assembly.

Cooper appointed Barbara Gibson to direct the Office of State Human Resources. According to an official press release, Gibson is one of the longest-serving state personnel directors and has led the N.C. Department of Justice Human Resources Department for 16 years.

Cooper also appointed William McKinney to serve as his legal counsel and advise on legal affairs. McKinney served as special counsel to Cooper in the N.C. Attorney General’s office, and prior to that worked in private practice in South Carolina and for the U.S. State Department.

Serving in the governor’s press office is Noelle Talley, who brings state government communications experience to the job. Talley most recently was public information officer for the N.C. Department of Justice.

“We are putting together a deeply talented team and I’m excited that these experienced leaders with proven results will help me move our state forward,” Cooper said in the release.

Other Cooper administration senior staff and cabinet officers will be announced.

The new governor's inauguration ceremonies will be January 7, 2017 in downtown Raleigh.

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