RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina is starting off 2017 with a new governor.

Roy Cooper was sworn in as the Governor of the state of North Carolina minutes after midnight on January 1.

The former attorney general took the oath of office in the Old House Chamber of the Tar Heel state's capitol building in Raleigh. Cooper was accompanied by family and close friends in the small ceremony, including his wife and daughters.

Cooper says he wanted to get started on the transition as soon as possible due to the protracted recount following the governor's race which shortened his time to prepare for office.

"It is the place where I grew up, it is the place where I have worked and worshiped and studied, it is the place that I have lived all of my life and I recognize the solemn duty that has been placed upon me," Cooper said.

The official inauguration is scheduled for January 7.

The next four years will be one of interest for Democrat Cooper as the state's General Assembly is primarily Republican. The legislation has already passed bills to subdue Cooper's powers while in office.

Pat McCrory is calling Charlotte his home base once again after seven terms as mayor and one term as governor.