NC Gov. Pat McCrory Refuses to Concede, Demands Recount

Although his opponent is leading in votes, the incumbent governor believes he still has a chance to keep his job. 

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in 2015
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in 2015 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

North Carolina’s incumbent governor has dug in his heels and is not going out without a fight. Two weeks after the election, Pat McCrory, a Republican, officially asked for a recount Tuesday.

Roy Cooper, McCrory’s Democratic challenger, claimed victory election night with a 4,000-vote lead out of 4.2 million votes cast, and as the Washington Post reports, that lead has grown to at least 6,000 votes as provisional and absentee votes have been counted. Cooper’s campaign says the lead is more like 8,900 votes.

Tuesday’s recount request is among dozens of challenges McCrory’s campaign has filed, but as the Post notes, none of the challenges have presented evidence that would swing thousands of votes back in his direction.

Republicans in North Carolina have raised allegations of people voting in two states, ineligible felons voting and absentee voters who died before Election Day.

More than half of the state’s 100 counties have already reported results, and a recount would happen only after all final results were in and the number of votes separating McCrory and Cooper was fewer than 10,000.

McCrory wrote in his letter to the state Board of Elections: “With serious concerns about potential voter fraud emerging across the state, it is becoming apparent that a thorough recount is one way the people of North Carolina can have confidence in the results, process and system.”

The News & Observer reports that Democrats are pressuring McCrory to concede, and Cooper has already announced a transition team.

Cooper’s camp issued a statement that read, “This is nothing but a last-ditch effort from Gov. McCrory to delay and deny the results of this election. We are confident that a recount will do nothing to change the fact that Roy Cooper has won this election.”

Most of McCrory’s filed challenges have been rejected because of a lack of evidence, the Post reports. An allegedly dead person who voted in one county was actually alive, and two alleged convicted felons in another county were not felons at all.

Given the closeness of the race, McCrory’s camp says it makes sense to wait until every last vote is counted for either side to claim victory.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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