Roy Cooper’s Lead Over Pat McCrory Surpasses Critical 10,000-Vote Margin in North CarolinaBy Adam Polaski • November 30, 2016 • 5:40 pm
Governor-elect Roy Cooper’s lead over Pat McCrory in North Carolina’s gubernatorial race has surpassed 10,000 votes, according to local media. While McCrory has yet to concede the race, Cooper’s lead is now beyond the margin of a recount and nearly double what it was on Election Day. According to North Carolina law, taxpayer-funded recounts are only allowable for races where the margin is under 10,000 votes.
McCrory’s defeat comes following his full-throttled defense of HB 2, a discriminatory anti-LGBT law that bans local ordinances that provide protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and which made North Carolina the first state in the country to ban transgender people from using public restrooms. HB 2 has cost North Carolina about a billion dollars in lost revenue, as well as countless jobs, since it was hurriedly enacted into law earlier this year.
McCrory continued to support the hateful law even as major corporations including PayPal, Deutsche Bank and CoStar canceled planned expansions into North Carolina, and athletic organizations including the NBA, NCAA and ACC pulled high-profile sporting events from the state. McCrory’s opponent, attorney general Roy Cooper, spoke out against the discriminatory law since the day it passed.
Freedom for All Americans Executive Director Matt McTighe said today:
“Pat McCrory lost his re-election bid specifically because of his support for HB 2. He must now do the responsible thing and allow the state to heal and recover – and that means finally acknowledging the clear outcome of this race. HB 2 has caused real damage – first and foremost to transgender North Carolinians, and also to everyone whose pocketbooks took a hit because Pat McCrory prioritized discrimination over good governing. Now there’s a clear opportunity to come together, heal, and rebuild the state’s economic brand.”
Exit polling showed that 66 percent of North Carolina voters opposed HB 2. President-elect Donald Trump scored a victory in North Carolina, as did GOP Senator Richard Burr. But it’s clear North Carolinians wanted a change in leadership after McCrory spent most of 2016 prioritizing discrimination over the economic well-being of his state.
North Carolina’s incoming governor, Roy Cooper, has vowed to make the repeal of HB 2 a top priority. Over the last few months, many lawmakers – including several Republicans – have similarly called to repeal the discriminatory law. Cooper will take office on January 7, 2017.
McCrory is the highest-ranking elected official to lose his job after supporting anti-transgender legislation, but he isn’t the first. Earlier this year, South Carolina state Senator Lee Bright lost a run-off election to fellow Republican Scott Talley after he introduced anti-transgender legislation that largely mirrored HB 2. Talley, who ran unopposed in the general election, spoke out against Bright’s pursuit of discriminatory legislation and called Bright’s efforts “manufactured controversy” and “redundant and unnecessary.”
“LGBT people are worried about what the coming months and years hold, and that’s understandable,” added McTighe. “But lawmakers should think twice about pursuing discriminatory legislation. Americans from all walks of life want to see lawmakers focus on issues that can improve their daily lives – things that make it easier for everyone to have the freedom to work hard, take home a decent paycheck and put a roof over their families’ heads. It’s clear that voters will hold lawmakers accountable for wasting time on discriminatory bills that do nothing other than harm LGBT people.”