BIG NEWS: Roy Cooper’s Lead Grows to Nearly 7,500 as McCrory Refuses to Admit Loss

by Stephen Peters

With a history of attempting to suppress votes, McCrory continues to refuse to face the reality that voters rejected him; now trying to take away votes already cast

RALEIGH – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, and Equality NC, the statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for LGBTQ North Carolinians, blasted Pat McCrory for refusing to admit defeat despite vote tallies showing that Roy Cooper has increased his winning margin to nearly 7,500 votes. McCrory, ousted by voters in large part because of the discriminatory HB2 legislation he signed into law, has a history of attempting to deny voters their voice.  In July, a federal court struck down a law he signed that would have suppressed votes in predominately African-American neighborhoods. Now his campaign is attempting to undo votes already cast.

“Governor-elect Roy Cooper has won this election, and we’re all ready for him to restore the reputation of this great state,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “North Carolina continues to suffer from the petty and dangerous leadership of Pat McCrory who refuses to admit defeat, despite now being down by nearly 7,500 votes. It is time for Pat McCrory to accept he’s lost, stop wasting taxpayer time and money, and allow for the peaceful transition of power. To undermine the results of this election would be an affront to the will of the voters, and the Human Rights Campaign and our allies are prepared to fight any attempts by Pat McCrory to overturn the will of the people.  No one likes a sore loser.”

“Pat McCrory is once again putting his personal politics above the best interests of the people of North Carolina,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. “He was wrong when he signed HB2 into law despite opposition, and he is wrong now in refusing to acknowledge his defeat and concede. A lot of politicians lost difficult races in 2016, and Pat McCrory is the only one dragging his heels and being petulant. Roy Cooper is the clear victor -- the voters of North Carolina have spoken.  Pat, you have the opportunity to do the right thing and let North Carolina finally move on.”

In 2012, Pat McCrory was elected with an 11 percent margin of victory. Not only did the discriminatory HB2 cost McCrory his re-election, it dragged down several state candidates. A stunning 66 percent of North Carolina voters reported opposition to HB2 in exit polling released November 8. Among the pro-equality winners in North Carolina were HRC and ENC endorsed Josh Stein for Attorney General and four races in the General Assembly: Cynthia Ball (D), Chaz Beasley (D), Joe John (D) and Mary Belk (D).

Attempting to undo votes already cast, McCrory is launching an all-out effort to delay the inevitable outcome of the election by lodging pointless challenges in more than half of the state’s 100 counties. The election boards of Halifax County, Durham County, Wake County, and Orange County -- all of which are Republican controlled -- have already rejected McCrory’s challenges.

This isn’t the first time Governor McCrory has tried to suppress voters in the state. McCrory shamefully backed a voter suppression law that was struck down in a federal court because it was racially discriminatory. The Supreme Court rejected his attempts to keep the discriminatory law on the books pending appeal. Additionally, just prior to the election, several North Carolina counties were caught improperly striking voters from the rolls in attempts to further suppress voters in predominantly African-American neighborhoods.

Between August and Election Day, TurnOUT NC -- a project of the Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina -- held more than 260 get-out-the-vote events in Charlotte and Raleigh on behalf of HRC and ENC endorsed candidates. TurnOUT NC communicated to members and supporters through targeted social media, door-knocking, phone calls, direct mail, text message alerts and email alerts. The TurnOUT NC program generated more than 24 million impressions online to members and supporters encouraging them to vote for pro-equality candidates. HRC and ENC also released a series of ads targeting pro-equality voters, including “Lennie & Pearl for Roy Cooper” and “Pat McCrory: Bad for Business.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Equality NC is a statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians. For more information, please visit


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