North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced Monday morning he was conceding the gubernatorial election to Attorney General Roy Cooper after recounts were showing the Democrat's lead growing over the Republican incumbent.
"Despite continued questions that should be answered regarding the voting process, I personally believe that the majority of our citizens have spoken, and we should now do everything we can to support the 75th governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper," he said in a video statement. "The McCrory administration team will assist in every way to help the new administration make a smooth transition."
McCrory was arguably the most endangered Republican governor facing reelection last month. Despite touting a "Carolina Comeback," GOP efforts to protect privacy rights with HB2, a "bathroom bill" aimed at making transgendered people use facilities that match their biological sex resulted in a business boycott and the loss of nearly $400 million.
As attorney general, Cooper refused to defend the law and made it an effective wedge issue in the election. And, as a result, the same message that swung North Carolina into President-elect Donald Trump's direction ultimately took McCrory down.
But despite those lingering questions about potential voter fraud, the governor struck a conciliatory tone in his video message.
"I ask all of us to please pray for our new governor, Roy Cooper, our new president, Donald Trump and their families," he said. "I encourage everyone now more than ever to respect all of our public servants and the offices they are elected to hold."
It is unlikely the GOP-controlled legislature is going to give Cooper much of what he wants, particularly with a narrow margin of victory. It's unclear, however, how the election may impact the future of HB2.
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