Two weeks after election night, North Carolina Democrats are urging incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory to concede.
Democratic challenger, state Attorney General Roy Cooper, leads McCrory by around 6,600 votes, according to the state elections board, The Charlotte Observer reported. The Associated Press vote count puts Cooper ahead by just over 4,700 votes.
But McCrory has alleged voter fraud in more than half of North Carolina counties, claiming ballots cast by ineligible voters — such as convicted felons, people who had already voted and dead people — helped push Cooper over the top.
In a video message, released Sunday, Cooper said, “Gov. McCrory is doing everything he can to undermine the results of this election and the will of the people. But we won’t let him.”
But McCrory’s campaign vowed to continue fighting the results.
“Why is Roy Cooper so insistent on circumventing the electoral process and counting the votes of dead people and felons?” McCrory spokesman Ricky Diaz said in a statement released Monday. “It may be because he needs those fraudulent votes to count in order to win. Instead of insulting North Carolina voters, we intend to let the process work as it should to ensure that every legal vote is counted properly.”
Meanwhile, Cooper has named a transition team and looks to move forward, despite the possibility of a full recount.
McCrory’s performance in the gubernatorial race stood out on a night when North Carolina otherwise largely went red, with Donald Trump carrying the state in the presidential contest and GOP Sen. Richard M. Burr winning re-election.
McCrory is well-known nationally for signing the contentious House Bill 2 this year, which bars transgender individuals from using the restroom of the gender they self-identify with; and also for signing a wide-ranging 2013 voter ID law that was accused of imposing voting restrictions on African-Americans. The law was struck down by a federal appeals court in July.