Patrick Ballantine is still weighing whether to get back into the political grind for another run for governor in 2008.
Ballantine was the Republican nominee for 2004, and says this will be a difficult decision. He now has the time to pursue his work as a coastal real estate developer and he enjoys waking up every day at home instead of in a hotel room.
At 41, Ballantine knows there's a small window for him to seek the state's top office, and acknowledges that another loss could damage his career.
Only a few people have rebounded from two high-profile defeats in North Carolina politics. In the meantime, Ballantine is enjoying the role of informal adviser to the Republican Party.