Nearly a month after millions of North Carolinians cast their ballots, Republican Governor Pat McCrory has conceded defeat to his Democratic challenger, state attorney general Roy Cooper, thus ending one of the most hotly contested, and excruciatingly drawn-out elections in recent memory.
In a short video statement posted to YouTube, McCrory thanked his supporters, before admitting that “the majority of our citizens have spoken,” and adding that “we now should do everything we can to support the 75th governor of North Carolina—Roy Cooper.”
McCrory’s concession comes after weeks of acrimonious allegations of voter fraud, and threats of recounts following November 8’s extremely narrow electoral results. However, as the final tally of votes demonstrated, now-Governor-elect Cooper had amassed an unsurmountable lead—fueled, in part, by mass opposition to McCrory’s support of the anti-LGBTQ HB2 legislation—prompting the current governor to ultimately face facts.
As the weeks went on, it became clear that McCrory was working to subvert the democratic process that had ousted him from office by any means necessary—whether through legal wrangling, attacks on voters, or an outright refusal to accept defeat.
Despite his seemingly obvious rejection on the part of the electorate, McCrory’s legal team spent the immediate aftermath of the November 8 elections decrying “voting irregularities” in a number of state counties (claims local election boards roundly rejected) as well as targeting a number of black voter outreach groups for perceived misdeeds.
“I ask all of us to please pray for our new Governor, Roy Cooper, our New President Donald Trump, and their families,” McCrory urged viewers in his concession message. “And I encourage everyone, now more than ever, to respect all of our public servants and the offices the were elected to hold.”
Shortly after McCrory posted his concession announcement, Governor-elect Cooper issued a statement thanking his predecessor for his service, and calling for unity after a bitter campaign.