CHARLOTTE – Gov. Pat McCrory finished up his whirlwind week of open houses Wednesday afternoon in the city where he first made a name for himself.

The Queen City’s longest-serving mayor spoke to hundreds in uptown, and as he heard in the state’s other regions earlier in the week, the economy remains people’s No. 1 issue.

McCrory said it was an emotional homecoming at the Government Center, where he served as council member and mayor for 20 years and hadn’t stepped foot in since 2009. He said Charlotte was where he learned to become a leader, making tough decisions and even a few mistakes along the way.

McCrory said he will keep a special governor’s office in Charlotte as his predecessor, Bev Perdue, initiated.

As he mentioned in other stops, he promised to keep the state’s economy innovative in the Southeast.

"Whether you’re mayor or chair of the county commission or governor, we’ve got to constantly update our brand,” he said.

McCrory said he couldn’t comment on Tuesday’s decision by the Mecklenburg County Commission to file an appeal with the state over control of federal Medicaid dollars for mental health.