Incumbent North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory conceded to his Democratic challenger, state Attorney General Roy Cooper, nearly four weeks after the gubernatorial election held in early November. McCrory, who initially refused to back down after questioning the apparent decrease in voter turnout for the final polls leading up to the November 8th runoff, admitted as much in a video message posted to his office’s official social media channels on Monday afternoon.
As reported by Talking Points Memo, the North Carolina governor’s office published what it described on YouTube as McCrory’s “statement on 2016 election results.” (The copy included in the office’s tweeted video wasn’t that much different, calling the two-plus-minute post a “video message on the 2016 election results.”) The actual word “concede,” however, wasn’t included in any of the official language used to present McCrory’s comments:
“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. 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 or North Carolina, Roy Cooper.”
As the News and Observer noted, McCrory’s concession arrives just as the official recount ordered by his office for Durham Counry neared a conclusion. The result? “Durham officials plan to finish the recount later Monday,” the local paper explained, “but early results from the recount showed virtually no change in the vote tally there.”
McCrory first gained fame on the national stage in March, when the North Carolina legislature passed a controversial “bathroom bill” viewed by many as a form of discrimination against the LGBTQ community. HB2 generated such a large conversation that McCrory’s office entered the fray in April with an executive order that was meant to clarify the law’s purpose. Instead, the governor’s attempt to clear the air only resulted in further condemnation from HB2’s critics.