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Anti-trans North Carolina governor refusing to concede in too-close-to-call election

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Republican North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory—the one who championed HB2, the dangerous anti-trans “bathroom bill” and signed a law requiring doctors who perform abortions to submit ultrasounds to the state—appears to have lost the gubernatorial election to his opponent, longtime attorney general Roy Cooper, likely partially due to Cooper’s HB2 opposition. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Cooper is 4,772 votes ahead, per the AP—though they have not called the race yet. Cooper has already claimed victory, though, saying, “We have won this race for governor of North Carolina,” at an event in Raleigh.

McCrory, however, is refusing to concede the race, and his campaign lashed out at Cooper for claiming victory before the race had been called. “Claiming an outcome before the process has concluded is irresponsible and disrespectful to the voters of North Carolina whose voices have yet to be heard,” his campaign strategist Chris LaCivita said in a statement.

The low amount of votes between the two candidates will likely lead to a recount, according to the Charlotte Observer, and an unknown number of provisional ballots statewide have yet to be counted. McCrory is relying on these to put him over.

He has also been making noise about reported polling place irregularities and long lines, leading some to stay open for extended hours after the state Board of Elections was sued by a nonprofit. (Oh yeah, the North Carolina Republican Party purposefully suppressed the black vote this election and celebrated the resulting low black voter turnout in a press release.) However, it’s unlikely that Durham County will provide the election to McCrory; it contains one of the state’s most liberal areas.