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Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, another Democrat, would seem to consider a run. Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, who toyed with a gubernatorial bid in 2008 but decided against the idea, announced Thursday he would run for a fourth term as the state’s top law enforcement officer.

A native of Virginia, Perdue worked as a teacher and moved in the 1970s to the coastal town of New Bern, where she became director of geriatric services at a hospital before entering politics. She served in the Legislature and as lieutenant governor before being elected governor.

Robertson reported from Raleigh. Associated Press writers Michael Biesecker and Tom Breen in Raleigh also contributed to this report.