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Bev Perdue
Beverly Perdue official photo.jpg
73rd Governor of North Carolina
In office
January 10, 2009 – January 5, 2013
Lieutenant Walter Dalton
Preceded by Mike Easley
Succeeded by Pat McCrory
32nd Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina
In office
January 6, 2001 – January 10, 2009
Governor Mike Easley
Preceded by Dennis Wicker
Succeeded by Walter Dalton
Member of the North Carolina Senate
from the 3rd district
In office
January 3, 1991 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Bill Barker
Succeeded by Scott Thomas
Member of the North Carolina House of Representatives
from the 3rd district
In office
Preceded by Chris S. Barker, Jr.
Succeeded by William L. Wainwright
Personal details
Beverly Marlene Moore

(1947-01-14) January 14, 1947 (age 76)
Grundy, Virginia, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Gary Perdue
(m. 1970; div. 1994)

Bob Eaves
(m. 1997)
Children 2
Education University of Kentucky (BA)
University of Florida (MEd, PhD)

Beverly Eaves Perdue (born Beverly Marlene Moore; January 14, 1947) is an American businesswoman, politician, and member of the Democratic Party who served as the 73rd governor of North Carolina from 2009 to 2013. She was the first female governor of North Carolina.

Perdue started her political career in the 1980s, serving in the North Carolina House of Representatives. She then served five terms in the North Carolina Senate, before she was elected as the 32nd Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina. Perdue was elected to the office of Governor of North Carolina in 2008 against Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory by a 50–46 margin.

On January 26, 2012, facing sinking approval ratings, Perdue announced that she would not seek reelection in the 2012 gubernatorial election. She left office in January 2013.

Early life and education

Beverly Marlene Moore was born in 1947 in Grundy, Virginia, the daughter of Alfred P. and Irene Morefield Moore. Her father was a coal miner and co-founder of a coal mining company, who went on to become CEO of a large utility company. She earned a B.A. degree in history in 1969 from the University of Kentucky, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, as well as a M.Ed. degree in community college administration in 1974 and a Ph.D., degree in Education Administration in 1976, both from the University of Florida.

North Carolina legislature

Perdue, a Democrat, served in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1987 to 1991, and in the North Carolina Senate from 1991 to 2001. She represented Craven, Lenoir and Pamlico counties in the House and Craven, Carteret and Pamlico in the Senate.


In 1990, she ran for the State Senate in North Carolina's 3rd Senate District, vacated by retiring State Senator Bill Barker (D-Pamlico County). In 1996, she won re-election against Republican Holt Faircloth, Carteret County Commissioner, 60%-40%. In 1998, she won re-election against Republican George Hipps 60%-40%.


During her last three terms in the Senate, she served as co-chair of the Appropriations Committee While she was in office, the General Assembly increased teacher pay and passed Governor Hunt's Excellent Schools Act and Smart Start. Additionally, she led the debate that created North Carolina's Clean Water Management Trust Fund. She fought for more benefits for senior citizens.

Committee assignments

She served in the House Judiciary Committee. She was Chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee.

Lieutenant Governor

Mike Easley inauguration 4
Perdue being sworn in during 2005

In 2000, she defeated Republican Betsy Cochrane for the lieutenant governor's seat, becoming North Carolina's first female lieutenant governor; she was re-elected in 2004. As lieutenant governor, Perdue's most significant act was casting the tie-breaking vote that established the North Carolina Education Lottery.

2008 gubernatorial election

Perdue announced her 2008 candidacy for governor on October 1, 2007, at her hometown, New Bern, North Carolina. On October 22, 2007, pro-choice Emily's List endorsed her campaign. On May 6, 2008, Perdue won the Democratic nomination for governor, defeating State Treasurer Richard H. Moore and Dennis Nielsen.

Perdue raised $15 million for the general election and ran ads against her Republican opponent, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, criticizing him for not being tough enough on illegal immigration. Her 2008 gubernatorial campaign was under both state and federal investigation for donation irregularities and was fined $30,000 in 2010. Despite a national Democratic tide and Perdue's fundraising edge, in the general election campaign McCrory led Perdue at first; Perdue slowly gained as the Democratic candidate. Perdue and McCrory remained close, with the two often polling in a statistical tie in what was the closest race for governor in the nation. Perdue ran slightly behind her opponent in polls released the week before the election. Pundits speculated that Perdue was hurt by current Democratic Governor Mike Easley's decreasing popularity and McCrory's efforts to tag her as part of the Political corruption in Raleigh: consultants mentioned Perdue's "difficulty of being the candidate of continuity in a change election."

While McCrory received the endorsement of most major newspapers in the state (which typically endorse Democrats), Perdue received the endorsement of actor and director Andy Griffith, who filmed a campaign ad on her behalf.

Perdue defeated McCrory on November 4, 2008, 50.3% to 46.9%.

Late reporting fine

In late 2010, Perdue's 2008 campaign came under State and Federal investigation for the late reporting of 41 private flights. The campaign was fined $30,000 in August 2010 by the State Board of Elections for the late reporting of flights which were discovered after a 2009 self-audit, but that body declined to investigate further after deciding that the Perdue Campaign did not intentionally violate the law.

Governor of North Carolina

Perdue was sworn in as the 73rd Governor of North Carolina on January 10, 2009.

Personal life

She is an Episcopalian. Before entering public service, Perdue worked as a public school teacher, as director of geriatric services at a community hospital in her hometown of New Bern, and earned a Ph.D. in Education Administration.

Perdue lives in New Bern. She has been married to Bob Eaves since 1997 and has two grown sons, Garrett (b. 1976) and Emmett (b. 1979), from her previous marriage to Gary Perdue, which lasted from 1970 to 1994. She continues to use "Perdue" as her last name, using her current married name as her middle name.


In Spring 2013, she served as a Resident Fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics. Following her Harvard fellowship, she started an education consulting business.

In August 2013, Perdue became a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy, where she worked with faculty and students and also served as an adviser for Duke's Center for Child and Family Policy.

Perdue was named to the Governing Board of the National Assessment of Educational Progress in 2017 and re-appointed in 2021. She became the board's first female chair in 2018 and was re-elected to the chair for a second time in 2021.

Electoral history

North Carolina gubernatorial election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Beverly Perdue 2,146,083 50.27%
Republican Pat McCrory 2,001,114 46.88%
Libertarian Michael Munger 121,585 2.85%
North Carolina gubernatorial Democratic primary, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Beverly Perdue 840,342 56.21%
Democratic Richard H. Moore 594.028 39.23%
Democratic Dennis Nielsen 60.628 4.06%
North Carolina Lieutenant governor election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Beverly Perdue 1,888,397 56.6%
Republican Jim Snyder 1,453,705 42.8%
Libertarian Christopher Cole 56,368 1.7%
North Carolina Lieutenant governor election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Beverly Perdue 1,500,206 52%
Republican Betsy Cochrane 1,315,825 46%
Reform Catherine Carter 50,352 2%
North Carolina Lieutenant governor Democratic primary election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Beverly Perdue 329,183 64.1%
Democratic Ed Wilson 103,847 20.2%
Democratic Ronnie Ansley 55,622 10.8%
Democratic Joel Harbinson 25,179 4.9%
North Carolina state Senate district 3 election, 1998
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Beverly Perdue 24,767 60.1%
Republican David G. Hipps 16,414 39.9%

All data is from the State Board of Elections.

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