The former Charlotte mayor narrowly lost to Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue in 2008. He told the energized crowd it was time to fix the state's broken government and broken economy.
On Monday, McCrory sat down for a one-on-one interview with ABC11's Larry Stogner.
"We need to bring some new ideas and a breath of fresh air to state government which is desperately needed," said McCrory.
McCrory said he's sticking with the same strategy despite Perdue's announcement last week she won't seek re-election. He said the Democrats in the race so far are closely tied to her.
"Every one of them has an attachment to the Easley/Perdue administrations in support of their policies and the culture we've had in state government for far too long," he said.
McCrory kicks off his campaign Tuesday in Guilford County. He said Monday if he's elected he will fix the state's "broken government and broken economy," but said he'd save his specific proposals for his official campaign announcement.
He did say his plan includes new innovative approaches.
"The private sector gets us out of this recession," he said.
Some of his priorities would be education, taxes, and regulation.
On Governor Perdue's proposal to increase the state sales tax to support education, McCrory said it won't pass the General Assembly.
"First change the system and then evaluate if there's more money that needs to come along," he offered.
He called North Carolina's education system broken.
"Their need to just pour more money into a bad system is just not something that North Carolina can afford," he said.
So far, McCrory does not face any significant challengers for the Republican nomination. Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and Rep. Bill Faison are running in the Democratic primary. U.S. Rep. Brad Miller and former State Treasurer Richard Moore said Monday they're still considering bids, while Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines said he will not run.