Big News out of North Carolina

December 5th 2016

Laura Donovan

Nearly a month following the election, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) has finally conceded to opponent Democrat Roy Cooper in the gubernatorial election.

McCrory has been challenging the results of the election since Nov. 9, when Cooper was ahead by roughly 4,000 votes and declared victory in the race. He questioned the validity of Cooper's votes, with his spokesman Ricky Diaz saying in November that the votes were cast by "dead people and felons."

McCrory, who signed the state's controversial House Bill 2 (HB 2) into law, released the following video statement on Twitter Monday:

"Being the 74th governor of North Carolina has been a privilege and an honor, but during this wonderful season, it's also 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," McCrory said. "Despite continued questions that should be answered regarding the voting process, I personally believe that the majority of our citizens have spoken, and now we should do everything we can to support the 75th governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper."

McCrory added that he is going to help Cooper, who is the current state attorney general, in his gubernatorial transition process, and encouraged everyone to pray for Cooper and President-elect Donald Trump.

Cooper reciprocated the good faith and thanked McCrory for his work in a tweet posted Monday:

Cooper wrote a statement on Monday, where he thanked McCrory:

"I’m proud to have received the support from so many who believe that we can come together to make a North Carolina that works for everyone. It will be the honor of my life to serve this great state. While this was a divisive election season, I know still that there is more that unites us than divides us. Together, we can make North Carolina the shining beacon in the south by investing in our schools, supporting working families and building a state that works for everyone. I’d like to thank all of the hardworking families in North Carolina, and I look forward to serving the greatest state in the country as your governor."

Over the past few months, McCrory has faced a lot of criticism for House Bill 2 commonly known as the bathroom bill, which requires transgender individuals to use restrooms and locker rooms that match the biological sex the person had at birth and it strips legal non-discrimination protections that cities across the state implemented. HB 2 opponents claimed it was discriminatory towards transgender individuals, with many companies withdrawing business from the state in response to it. 

Exit polls have shown that the bathroom bill was a big factor in the decision of voters on Nov. 8 where an ABC exit poll showed that 65 percent of North Carolina voters opposed HB 2 and 29 percent supported it. 

Will McCrory's loss affect the discriminatory HB 2 bill?

Cooper has been a vocal opponent of HB 2. Ben Graumann, the communications director at Equality NC, an LGBT civil rights advocacy group said Cooper's victory shows how the people of North Carolina feel about the controversial bill. 

"Pat McCorry has been the face of HB 2 and so the fact that the sitting governor was defeated by a champion of equality send a clear message," he said to ATTN: Monday. 

However, the state legislature in North Carolina is a still a supermajority of Republicans, many who voted for HB 2 in the first place. "It's an uphill battle here since the legislature is still a super majority Republican, but we've seen Republicans also come out against HB 2," he added. 

This loss makes McCrory the first North Carolina governor to lose re-election, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Before he conceded the race, he received criticism for refusing to accept the election results.

“I understand it’s hard to lose,” state Rep. Tricia Cotham (D) told reporters in Charlotte in November, according to The Charlotte Observer. “McCrory needs to be a statesman and do what the voters wanted and concede this race.”