In addition to making history, Perdue’s announcement will make state and national politicians do a bit more work this week than originally planned. Potential rivals for the Democratic nomination will scramble to assess their chances and, if favorable, set up campaigns. Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, whom Perdue narrowly defeated in 2008, will have to reshape his 2012 strategy to account for a different opponent.
Even the groups for and against same-sex marriage will have to refashion their strategies for the May 8 referendum on a proposed constitutional amendment. They were assuming that the primary date would either be a low-turnout affair or, if the Republican presidential campaign remained unsettled, attract a GOP-leaning electorate. Now the prospect of a contested Democratic primary for governor changes the calculation.