Tuesday was a difficult night for Democrats, but they appear to have chalked up one big win — knocking out Republican Pat McCrory in a highly-publicized contest for North Carolina governor, according to activists.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Democrat Roy Cooper was ahead by just a few thousand votes. Cooper has 2,280,398 votes compared to 2,276,059 for McCrory.
The Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina issued a late-night news release elaborating on their win.
“We are confident that once the results are certified, Roy Cooper’s victory will be confirmed," they wrote. "By electing Roy Cooper their next governor, North Carolinians have sent a powerful message across their state and this country that the days of anti-LGBTQ politicians targeting our community for political gain are over. While McCrory may have been surprised by the overwhelming opposition in this state and across the country to his discriminatory politics, the same will not be true for lawmakers who are considering doubling down on anti-LGBTQ extremism in the future. This is a wake-up call.”
McCrory in March infamously signed House Bill 2, which banned transgender people from accessing bathrooms and locker rooms in state facilities that correspond with their gender identity. It also eliminated all existing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances in the state, and prohibited cities from adopting new protections.
The bill was greeted with national derision and North Carolina suffered immediate boycotts — from organizations such as the NCAA — that have cost the state billions, according to reports.
McCrory repeatedly defended the bill and in a campaign ad said he stopped "boys from using girls' showers." His opponent, N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, decried HB 2 from the outset. He later used the legislation as a campaign weapon against McCrory, and vowed to overturn it should he win.