Given that he was one of the few Republicans in the South to lose in the midst of a Donald Trump wave, look for this to further dampen appetites within the state Capitol of Georgia for a fourth year of debate over “religious liberty” legislation. From the Associated Press:
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory announced Monday that he’s conceded the election to Democrat Roy Cooper, the state’s attorney general, and will support transition efforts.
McCrory made the concession in a video message posted around noon Monday as a recount he requested in Durham County entered its final hours. Watch here:
Durham officials plan to finish the recount later Monday, but early results from the recount showed virtually no change in the vote tally there.
“I personally believe that the majority of our citizens have spoken, and we now should do everything we can to support the 75th governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper,” McCrory says in the video. “The McCrory administration team will assist in every way to help the new administration make a smooth transition.
“It’s time to celebrate our democratic process and respect what I see to be the ultimate outcome of the closest North Carolina governor’s race in modern history.”
McCrory’s loss, now official, makes it worth reviving a portion of House Speaker David Ralston’s Friday comments on the matter:
“Look at North Carolina…I don’t think many Republicans in North Carolina lost on general Election Day. I think he was the only one. Governor McCrory certainly became Exhibit A on this issue. They’ve had a lot of fallout from their decision to adopt a similar measure up there. Frankly, it would be irresponsible of us to ignore that.”
Look for LGBT groups to begin emphasizing that message. From Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality:
“It’s clear that Governor McCrory’s relentless support for discrimination cost him his job. HB 2 has cost North Carolina nearly a billion dollars in lost revenue. It’s cost the state jobs, and it’s cost the state high-profile sporting events, conferences and concerts. Pat McCrory tried to ignore all the damage he unleashed on his state by signing HB 2 into law, and Roy Cooper from the very beginning expressed a commitment to stand against discrimination.
“We’re hopeful that Governor McCrory’s defeat – taken with the undeniable economic toll the law has taken on the state – will send a clear message to lawmakers here in Georgia that anti-LGBT bills really do have consequences – both politically and economically. Nothing good will come of spending yet another year wasting time and energy on divisive, harmful bills that hurt our state. Instead, it’s time to talk about how we can grow Georgia’s economy and strengthen our communities even more. We can do just that by passing comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that extend to all Georgians, from all walks of life.”