The Asheville School's Voice

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And The Winner Is…Roy Cooper!

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While most elections were decided a month ago, North Carolina had to wait until December 5 to figure out who their governor is. Republican incumbent Pat McCrory was defeated by Democratic challenger Roy Cooper in one of the most hotly contested governor’s seats in the country. It was one of the few bright spots for the Democrats this year, as this governorship was arguably the one Democrats desired the most. While Roy Cooper declared victory on election night, McCrory refused to concede until December 5, insisting that there was massive voter fraud and the close margin meant he still had a chance. Both of those fell through for McCrory. Republican-dominated county election boards threw out his challenges, as many of the votes he challenged were proved to have been made by valid voters, and as vote counting progressed, Cooper’s lead grew to more than 10,000 votes*. In North Carolina, the margin must be within 10,000 votes for a hand recount statewide. McCrory’s last attempt at victory was a partial recount in Durham County. For most of election night, McCrory actually led Cooper, but when Durham County reported roughly 90,000 votes around 11:30pm that night Cooper jumped ahead, giving him a narrow lead over McCrory he would not relinquish. This surprised Republicans across the state, as the presidential vote and the Senate were both moving in their favor. Durham County is one of the most Democratic counties in the state, and as such the late reporting was viewed with suspicion by allies of the governor. However, the recount actually caused Cooper’s lead to grow by 6 votes, leading McCrory to concede. Cooper won by flipping many voters who voted for McCrory in 2012, hoping to get a moderate governor in Raleigh. Many of McCrory’s critics said he had sold out to the ultraconservative legislature, an argument that moderate voters appear to have agreed with. While some said at the time that HB2 was supposed to motivate McCrory voters, it ended up doing the opposite, flipping those voters to the Democrats. Cooper handily won counties that McCrory won in 2012, particularly urban counties such as Charlotte’s Mecklenburg County, Raleigh’s Wake County, and Winston-Salem’s Forsyth County. Asheville’s Buncombe County voted for the Democrats in 2012 and 2016, although nearby Jackson County flipped from McCrory to Cooper. While Cooper won the governorship, he will face an uphill battle in Raleigh, as both bodies of the legislature have Republican supermajorities that can override a veto, thanks to current legislative district lines which favor Republicans. Cooper’s task will be to push for reforms the majority of North Carolinians support, such as repealing HB2, and convincing the legislature that they should let him.

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The Asheville School's Voice
And The Winner Is…Roy Cooper!