RALEIGH Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest took his oath of office Tuesday in Raleigh at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts. Forest begins his second term as Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper builds his executive team, dividing the executive positions between the political parties for the first time in nearly 30 years.In November, Forest’s grassroots support among Republicans gave him a second term, winning against Democratic opponent Linda Coleman 51.8 percent to 45.3 percent. Forest ended up with more votes than Gov. Pat McCrory. That is a shift from four years ago when Forest beat Coleman in what was then was one of the state’s closest races. His first term as lieutenant governor made him the second Republican to fill the position since 1897.Lieutenant governor is the second highest position in the state and the only one that has control in both the legislative and executive branches. In addition to serving as president of the N.C. Senate, Forest has focused on creating more options for parents in educating their children. He is a voting member of the State Board of Education, Community Colleges, Economic Development and chairman of the E-Learning Commission.The North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation in a special session in late 2016 that, in part, shored up the lieutenant governor’s constitutional powers. With divided government in Raleigh, Forest’s position as president of the Republican-dominated N.C. Senate against the backdrop of a new Democrat governor thrusts him into the political spotlight more than ever before.
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