Gov. Pat McCrory conceded the gubernatorial election to Democrat Roy Cooper in a video released Monday, nearly a month after the election.
But McCrory did not write off voter integrity questions that still remain, specifically in Durham County where 90,000 votes were logged late on Election Day, tipping the race in Cooper’s favor.
In his statement McCrory said, “Being the 74th governor of North Carolina has been a privilege and an honor but during this wonderful season its 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 and we now should do everything we can to support the 75th governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper. “
“The McCrory Administration team will assist in every way to the new administration make a smooth transition,” he said.
He cited the accomplishments of his administration, including raising teacher pay, boosting environmental cleanup efforts, attaining budget surpluses, making progress in transportation planning, paying off billions of dollars in debt, supporting healthcare reform and tax reform, creating 300,000 new jobs, and establishing the Connect NC bond program for state parks, the National Guard, and public universities and community colleges.
“Now during my remaining weeks as governor this team will be focusing on developing a financial plan, to be approved in a special legislative session, to help our citizens and communities impacted by Hurricane Matthew and by the current wildfires in the western region of our state,” he said.
McCrory closed out the video by asking that the citizens pray for Cooper, as well as President-Elect Donald Trump. McCrory asked for respect for all elected leaders.
On election night about 5,000 voted separated the two candidates, but as the official counts rolled in Cooper’s lead grew to more than the 10,000-vote threshold required to demand a recount of the race.
NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes released a statement following McCrory’s concession.
“Today we honor the historic public policy accomplishments of Governor Pat McCrory, North Carolina’s 74th governor,” he said. “Many elected officials tried to reform North Carolina’s tax system before Governor McCrory, but none of them were nearly as successful. His tax reform plan provided tax relief to every class of taxpayers, and freed North Carolina from the highest tax rates in the Southeast.
“His record on job creation is unmatched, as North Carolina’s jobless rate moved from one of the worst in the nation to among the best. The governor’s leadership on infrastructure and energy will pay dividends for years to come as our citizens drive to work, heat their homes, educate their children and enjoy our state’s beauty from Manteo to Murphy. Demanding accountability in public education while providing the largest teacher pay raise in the nation, as well as providing unprecedented school choice, are all critical measures in reforming and improving our education system. Politically, Governor McCrory has been a true friend of the Republican Party and its candidates. His support of President-Elect Donald Trump and our down ballot candidates was critical to their victories. We respect Governor McCrory’s decision to begin the transition process today, and we congratulate Governor-Elect Cooper. We wish him nothing but success. While we differ on public policy, we all share the same goal of making North Carolina the best she can be. While the Governor’s race now appears settled, we are prepared to represent Chuck Stuber in a statewide recount for auditor. We also are dedicated to seeing long-term improvement to our election process.”
Stuber is still only trailing incumbent State Auditor Beth Wood by about 3,000 votes.