"It's been a ride, hasn't it," asked Perdue.
With the polls heavily against her and a facing a combative relationship with a new Republican majority in the Legislature, Perdue told ABC11 Thursday she decided not to run again because one term was enough.
"I didn't want to do it anymore. I've done a great job, I believe, and someday the books will say that," Perdue said.
Perdue said she had to make tough decisions "in some of the hardest, most challenging times, this state has faced since the Great Depression."
While Perdue is the first governor not to run for re-election in North Carolina since the state allowed it in 1980, she said she leaves office on her own terms.
"I looked in the mirror and said to myself I made a promise that I would do not one thing, not make one decision that didn't leave North Carolina better than I found her - regardless of the political consequences - and I never backed away from that," said Perdue.
Perdue sees her time in office, as a fix-it woman.
"Part of the reason I wanted to be governor was to fix things. I wanted to fix DHHS. Nearly completed the work around mental health," said Perdue. "Probation and parole is fixed. I believe the Highway Patrol is fixed. DOT is fixed. We've taken the politics out of DOT. I did a really good job."
What was her most memorable moment as governor?
"The most memorable moment for me as a governor is the kids," said Perdue. "The kids that walk in this building and go, 'Ahh! The governor's a woman.'"