Perry sworn in Thursday night
N.C. Sen. Jim Perry (R-Lenoir) takes the oath of office, administered by N.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby. Perry’s wife and daughters hold the Bible. Photo by Catherine Hardee / Neuse News
GOLDSBORO — A crowd was on hand as N.C. Sen. James “Jim” Perry took his ceremonial oath of office Thursday night at the Maxwell Regional Agricultural and Convention Center in Goldsboro.
Numerous state and local elected officials and judges were on hand to support Perry as he was sworn in. N.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby, who administered the oath of office, spoke about the importance of the oath Perry would take. When an elected official takes the oath, he said, “they are setting aside their personal interests to do what is just, right and fair for all citizens of the state.”
Perry’s wife and daughters held the Bible as he took the oath, and then the new senator spoke briefly to the crowd about his goals in Raleigh, especially his plans to work together with other representatives from the East to bring economic prosperity to the area.
After the ceremony, Perry spoke to Neuse News about his first week in office, and the challenges and surprises he has encountered in Raleigh. Perry said he was pleasantly surprised by the level of coordination and cooperation he found in the legislature.
N.C. Rep. John Bell, the House majority leader, he said, has done a lot to bring together representatives from the region to work for the benefit of Eastern North Carolina.
“Everyone is very helpful... [and] we do talk about issues, we may disagree on some stuff,” Perry said. “Disagreement doesn’t mean you hate each other, it means you think differently and you vote differently. We need to be able to find a place where we can communicate again and be able to have reasonable conversation and get to the meat of the matter about what’s important, and what’s important is that we help Eastern North Carolina.”
Also an important part of the job, he said, is dealing with constituent communications. Even in the first week, many people have reached out to ask for his help. These are people, he said, “with very real issues...and you can almost read the desperation and the feeling of desolation in their letters... hoping that someone will respond and help them… that’s a very solemn responsibility... being the lifeline for that person, to help them.”
The N.C. Senate will be back in session on Monday in Raleigh.