Cooper declares victory, McCrory says NC governor’s race isn’t over

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RALEIGH, N.C.  — Attorney General Roy Cooper’s team released a statement saying Cooper “maintains strong lead” in his race against Gov. Pat McCrory.

Last night, Roy Cooper defeated Governor Pat McCrory in a close race for North Carolina Governor. With 100% of precincts reporting, Cooper leads by 4,980 votes. Last night, the people of North Carolina chose a new Governor with new priorities. With all precincts reporting, we have a strong lead and are confident that once the results are certified, we will confirm last night’s victory. In the coming weeks, Governor-elect Cooper will be laying out an agenda for moving North Carolina forward,” said Cooper for NC spokesman Ford Porter.

Gov. Pat McCrory’s team and the North Carolina GOP also released statements Wednesday morning regarding the gubernatorial race against Attorney General Roy Cooper. Cooper claimed victory Wednesday morning.

McCrory campaign strategist Chris LaCivita:

“The votes have been cast in the gubernatorial election, but many have yet to be counted. Currently, there are tens of thousands of outstanding absentee, military and provisional ballots across the state, and 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. We also have grave concerns over potential irregularities in Durham County, including the sudden emergence of over 90,000 ballots at the end of the night.

Our campaign is working closely with the North Carolina Republican Party and Chairman Robin Hayes to fulfill Governor McCrory’s call to ensure every vote is counted and that every eligible voter is afforded one vote. We will devote all appropriate financial and human resources to this effort and will let the system work. In the meantime, Governor McCrory will continue to do the job he was elected to do and focus on storm recovery and response.”

N.C. Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes:

The North Carolina Republican Party is working closely with Governor Pat McCrory’s campaign and other teams to deploy hundreds of volunteers and dozens of teams of lawyers across the state to ensure that every vote is counted in accordance with the laws of the state. We will direct any and all appropriate resources to this effort, and are confident that once all votes are counted, North Carolina will continue to prosper under four more years of Pat McCrory’s leadership.”

With all precincts reporting in North Carolina, Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper is up approximately 5,001 votes over incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory in the race for governor.

Cooper took the lead after McCrory was ahead for most of the night. The governor has said the race is far from over, though.

Republicans CBS North Carolina spoke with Tuesday night and early Wednesday said this was a roller coaster of emotions for them and that they feel uncertain about what’s going to happen.

“The election is not over in North Carolina,” McCrory said to a crowd of supporters at the Crabtree Marriott in Raleigh.

The governor told supporters that the votes in North Carolina will start to be canvassed.

McCrory had led most of the night. He then told the crowd what happened when Cooper took the lead.

“We just had a major new vote coming out of Durham, North Carolina, in the last 40 minutes,” he said as the crowd yelled “They stole it!” McCrory went on, “Apparently there was a sudden emergence of over 90,000 votes that were not counted this morning.”

After the rally, CBS North Carolina spoke with the NC GOP’s Chairman Robin Hayes.

“Any time it takes this long in today’s modern age to count those votes, you have to wonder. You have to worry. And, as [the governor] said, the election must be fair.”

McCrory said with all the work that’s yet to be done on this election, it’s highly likely that we won’t know the official outcome until Nov. 18 at the earliest.

State GOP leaders said there are provisional ballots and military ballots that have yet to be counted, though they don’t know how many there are at this time.