North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has conceded the governor's race, clearing the way for Democrat Roy Cooper to be declared the winner.
The concession nearly four weeks after Election Day comes after appeals dried up and postelection counts saw Cooper's narrow lead increasing.
"Being the 74th Governor of North Carolina has been a privilege and an honor," McCrory said. "But during this wonderful season, it's also time to celebrate our democratic process and respect what I see to be the ultimate outcome of the closest North Carolina Governor's race in modern history."
McCrory announced Monday in a video posted on YouTube that he is giving up four years after he won the office by a comfortable margin. This time around McCrory was weighed down by a law he signed limiting LGBT rights and was unable to generate the same voter support that lifted Republicans Donald Trump and Richard Burr to victory in the state.
Cooper's win marks an important consolation prize for national Democrats after a disappointing election. Cooper is the outgoing attorney general.
Cooper released a statement Monday afternoon:
“I want to thank Governor McCrory and our First Lady Ann McCrory for their service to our state. Kristin and I look forward to working with them and their staff in what I expect will be a smooth transition."
“I’m proud to have received the support from so many who believe that we can come together to make a North Carolina that works for everyone. It will be the honor of my life to serve this great state. While this was a divisive election season, I know still that there is more that unites us than divides us. Together, we can make North Carolina the shining beacon in the south by investing in our schools, supporting working families and building a state that works for everyone. I’d like to thank all of the hardworking families in North Carolina, and I look forward to serving the greatest state in the country as your Governor.”
McCrory's defeat marks the first time a sitting North Carolina governor has lost a re-election bid.
"Despite continued questions that should be answered regarding the voting process, I personally believe that the majority of our citizens have spoken. We now should do everything we can to support the 75th Governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper."
Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said Monday:
“Gov. McCrory leaves a tremendous positive legacy for our state and deserves a great deal of credit for graciously conceding an election that brought much-needed attention to the potential for fraud, and other weaknesses, in our state's election system. We will work with Gov.-elect Cooper to address these problems and to make certain voters have confidence in the outcome of future elections.“We hope Gov.-elect Cooper is willing to work with us to continue improving public education and cutting taxes on families and job creators – policies championed by Gov. McCrory that have generated budget surpluses, robust economic growth and hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Given that Gov.-elect Cooper won his new office with a razor-thin plurality, it is clear there is no groundswell of public support for his campaign pledge of a massive income tax increase on our state's citizens and businesses.”
The video is viewable on YouTube here.
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