North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) has refused to concede to his Democratic challenger, state Attorney General Roy Cooper, in the governor’s race, with Cooper leading by fewer than 5,000 votes.
Cooper has declared victory in the race, but McCrory said Wednesday that he will not concede until Nov. 18 when counties complete a canvass of their votes.
“The process is continuing in North Carolina,” McCrory said. “The election is not over.”
McCrory’s campaign says it’s concerned about officials in Durham saying around 11 p.m. on Tuesday that they had yet to upload more than 90,000 early votes.
“The votes have been cast in the gubernatorial election, but many have yet to be counted. Currently, there are tens of thousands of outstanding absentee, military and provisional ballots across the state, and claiming an outcome before the process has concluded is irresponsible and disrespectful to the voters of North Carolina whose voices have yet to be heard. We also have grave concerns over potential irregularities in Durham County, including the sudden emergence of over 90,000 ballots at the end of the night,” McCrory campaign strategist Chris LaCivita told ABC Raleigh affiliate WTVD.
Though Donald Trump and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) both pulled off decisive victories in North Carolina, it appears McCrory was not able to ride their coattails.
McCrory was likely hurt by his support for HB2, a state law that eliminated local governments’ ability to pass anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBT individuals and banned transgender people from using the public bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. The law sparked instant backlash in the state, prompting sports leagues to pull championship games from the state and companies like PayPal to end plans to bring new jobs to the state.
Despite pressure from companies to repeal the law, McCrory resisted making substantial changes to the legislation and defended the law until Election Day. Cooper, meanwhile, refused to defend HB2 in court and made the anti-gay law a big part of his campaign for governor.