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Governor-elect Bev Perdue has sought to separate herself from Governor Easley – sometimes indirectly and sometimes directly.

During the campaign, she said she would be more open and transparent. She promised a more ethical administration.

Election night, she said “there’s a new sheriff in town.”

The media focus has been on her staff and Cabinet appointments and, of course, her relationship with the media.

But signs point to another significant departure from Easley: the Governor’s office exercising more control over Cabinet departments.

Key transition advisers are said to be pushing for a more centralized policy-making and management apparatus within Perdue’s office – more on the Jim Hunt model than Easley’s style of letting Cabinet secretaries manage their departments with little day-to-day guidance (or interference, as some may call it) from him.

After eight years getting used to Easley, Raleigh could see a jarring – and perhaps welcome – change in how state government is run. Don’t underestimate the difference.

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