Pat McRory, North Carolina’s Republican candidate for Governor, has officially conceded victory in the race for the State’s new governor race to Democratic candidate, Roy Cooper. McRory had previously raised claims of voting fraud and his team had filed protests in multiple counties across the state. Allegations of voter fraud started after Cooper’s lead rose to 10,000 votes, compared to 5,000 votes as announced as part of the unofficial results on Election Day.
McRory had asked his supporters to help him cover the financial costs of challenging the election result in court. Many republicans even went as far as to claim that they would change the election laws, once the legislature reconvenes next year. North Carolina has had numerous topics related to election and voter laws in recent history and the governor’s claims spurred on those looking for a change in the system. Despite McRory’s loss, the GOP retains majority in both legislative houses.
The Bathroom Bill
McRory was not favored by a majority of voters due to his introduction of the Bathroom Bill that required people to use the bathrooms that were specified for their gender at birth. The bill was seen as discriminatory towards transgender citizens and other members of the LGBT+ community. Members of the community and their supporters saw McRory’s loss as a big win with Human Rights Campaign’s communications director, Jay Brown, stating that it sent a message to lawmakers everywhere that the LGBT community cannot be put down for political aspirations.
Polls before the election also showed that a majority of the voters in metropolitan areas, disagreed with bathroom bill, officially referred to as HB2. The disagreement with the bill was further spurred on as major organizations pulled events out of the state. This included the NCAA, which pulled all 7 championship games from the state.
McRory released a video statement revealing that he was honored to serve as the 74th governor of the state and that he respected the results of the elections. He admitted that a “majority of our citizens have spoken” and committed to helping with a smooth transition for Cooper.
Cooper released a statement thanking McRory for his service to the state and asked people from the state to show unity after a “divisive election.” He went on to say that there was more that united the people than matters that divided them.