After contesting election results for nearly a month, Republican North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory conceded to Democratic challenger and state Attorney General Roy Cooper on Monday in a video message, saying it’s “time to celebrate our democratic process and respect what I see to be the ultimate outcome of the closest North Carolina governor’s race in modern history.”
Following the Nov. 8 election, McCrory’s campaign accused state Democrats of participating in “an absentee ballot fraud scheme” and claimed the existence of “hundreds of fraudulent Cooper ballots,” demanding recounts and ballot expulsions in counties throughout the state.
In the end, only approximately 94,000 ballots in Durham County were recounted, which found virtually no change in the gubernatorial candidates’ vote totals. According to the State Board of Elections, Cooper has tallied over 10,000 more votes than McCrory statewide, to-date.
McCrory conceded at noon Monday, prior to the recount’s completion.
Gov. McCrory, who in 2012 became the first Republican in North Carolina elected as chief executive since 1984, led a controversial administration that cut state income taxes, significantly decreased public education funding and enacted a transgender bathroom law, House Bill 2, that forces citizens in government buildings to use the bathroom that matches the gender specified on their birth certificate.
Following the passage of HB 2, North Carolina lost millions of dollars worth of business, including the cancellation of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, which was moved from Charlotte to New Orleans, as well as in-state corporate expansion plans that were put on hold.
Governor-elect Cooper, conversely, has pledged to repeal HB 2, increase education funding, propose a tuition-free college program and expand federal Medicaid subsidies.
While each of these proposals may enjoy majority support statewide, Republicans still hold supermajorities in both chambers of the state legislature, which will not only be able to reject any of Cooper’s legislative proposals, but will also give GOP legislators the ability to override any of the Democratic governor’s vetoes.
[CNN] [CBS News] [The Charlotte Observer] [ABC News] [Photo courtesy AP Photo/Chuck Burton via The News & Observer]