North Carolina governor Pat McCrory concedes race after claiming 'massive voter fraud'

The new Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, said he wanted to repeal House Bill 2 which discriminated against LGBT people

Rachael Revesz
New York
Monday 05 December 2016 18:35 GMT
Mr McCrory said it had been an 'honour' to be governor
Mr McCrory said it had been an 'honour' to be governor (Getty)

North Carolina governor Pat McCrory has conceded defeat to his Democratic rival, and has called for a "smooth transition".

"Being the 74th governor of North Carolina has been a privilege and an honour," Mr McCrory said in a video.

"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."

The win for Roy Cooper is a boost for Democrats after a disappointing presidential election where Donald Trump won the state of North Carolina. It was the first time a governor in the state had 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," Mr McCrory said.

"And we should now do everything we can to support the 75th governor of North Carolina – Roy Cooper."

Mr McCrory trailed his opponent Roy Cooper, the state's attorney general, by almost 10,000 votes out of a total of 4.7 million, barring him from requesting a taxpayer-funded recount, but he had previously refused to concede.

He said his failure was a result of "massive voter fraud" after a comfortable victory four years ago.

He became notorious for championing a bill which discriminated against gay and transgender people, known as House Bill 2. The bill prompted a wave of protests and high-profile celebrities like Bruce Springsteen to boycott the state.

Sports games and companies like PayPal also pulled out of investments in the state, which cost North Carolina hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in spending.

Incoming governor Mr Cooper said he wanted to repeal the law.

The American Civil Liberties Union said on twitter: "Pat McCrory signed one of the most anti-LGBT bills into law in the country, and the voters let him know where they stood."

Mr McCrory focused his campaign on the economy, the state’s finances and his efforts to show leadership after Hurricane Matthew in October, but was unsuccessful.

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