CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WGPH) – Is former Gov. Pat McCrory dropping his Republican label?

The short answer is no, but McCrory, who lost a tight re-election race to Gov. Roy Cooper in 2016 and ran second to Rep. Ted Budd in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate last spring, says he is joining forces to help political activist Benjamin Chavis in building the No Labels Party, McClatchy newspapers reported Monday.

Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Chavis, whose resume includes work with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., helped launch No Labels in 2010 to help develop leaders who “recommit to the fundamental beliefs that have historically united Americans.”

McCrory, who told McClatchy he remains “as strong of a Republican as I ever was” also said that he thinks “the two parties are failing.”

No Labels’ founding chair is former Democratic vice-presidential candidate and independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, and vice chairs with Chavis are former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and businessman John Hope Bryant.

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (AP)
Civil rights activist Benjamin Chavis (AP)

And now add McCrory, a native of Jamestown and former mayor of Charlotte, to that mix. He told Danielle Battaglia, McClatchy’s Washington correspondent, he is volunteering to help get No Labels on the presidential ballot for 2024, although he said he won’t be its candidate.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, in a crowded Republican field, are the front-runners for 2024, and McCrory called them “two candidates that most people don’t want.”

He told McClatchy that he liked No Labels because it appeared to be trying to solve problems that many party leaders don’t attempt. “This is both Democrats and Republicans,” he said. “They’re more afraid of their primaries and the general election and they’re stymied and our country can’t afford this.”

As of Saturday, 35.9% of North Carolina’s 7,256,792 registered voters were registered as unaffiliated. Another 33.2% were Democrats, and 30.2% were Republicans. Almost all the rest were Libertarians. In 2020 about 75.35% of them cast ballots.

The Libertarian and Green parties typically field candidates. The Constitution Party was on the ballot in some races for 2020.

In 2024 in addition to the presidential election, North Carolina will elect its 14 members of Congress, its governor and its council of state (department executives), its General Assembly and a seat on the state Supreme Court, among other races. As of Saturday, there are three Republicans, one Democrat and a Libertarian running for governor.

For No Labels to get its presidential candidate on the ballot, it must meet requirements in every state. In North Carolina, that includes getting signatures of at least .02% of voters who cast their ballots in the last governor’s election, which would be about 111,000. They also must include at least 200 from all 14 congressional districts and be completed by June 1, 2024.