A Historic Election for both State and National Republican Leaders
As supporters gathered at Governor McCrory’s election night watch party, many were cheering on Donald Trump as the election night totals climbed steadily in his favor. But, that would not be the case for the State’s senior member of the Republican Party. Shortly after 12:00am, Pat & Ann McCrory took to the podium to tell supporters that he would be waiting for an accounting of provisional ballots and the state’s official canvas to determine the election’s Gubernatorial winner. “We’re going to check everything,” said McCrory. The contest is separated by an incredibly narrow margin of approximately 0.1%. However, Attorney General Roy Cooper has already declared victory, something McCrory was clearly not accepting.
The Impact of HB2
The Cooper-McCrory election quickly gained momentum in July of this year as the North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 2 (HB2) as an effort to block a February 2016 Charlotte City ordinance that mandated the public acceptance of mixed genders in public restrooms, showers, and changing facilities. The Charlotte provision was proverbial bait to lure legislators into a battle that was cleverly disguised as a non-discrimination ordinance. An issue that many in the Queen City doubt was ever needed.
True to its design, HB2 became a leverage issue that brought millions of dollars to Cooper’s campaign and was a rallying cry for progressive Democrats across the state. Organizations from New York, Washington DC, and elsewhere began to pour tremendous resources, hundreds of volunteers, and overwhelming media attention to the cause.
Under McCrory’s leadership, North Carolina has become one of the brightest economies in the nation. In just three short years the state has turned billions of debt into positive cash flow, dramatically reduced unemployment, and reduced taxes for taxpayers. It was a real success story that would require any opponent to focus the public’s attention away from a booming economy. Hello HB2.
HB2 also became a cause for Senator Josh Stein in his run for the vacant Attorney General’s race. Stein challenged Buck Newton and that race is currently too close to call. Stein repeatedly portrayed Newton as the pseudo-architect of HB2.
Other Races Around the State
The election was a boon for many other Republicans across the state. Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest became the first Republican in the State’s history to hold the office for two terms. The NC Council of State has a historic 5/3 split favoring Republicans (excluding the Governorship and the Attorney General’s race). Dale Folwell bested Dan Blue, III for State Treasurer; Mark Johnson beat June Atkinson for Superintendent of Education and Mike Causey won as the Commissioner of Insurance. As election results are updated, we will stay with the story. Stay tuned!