Gov. Pat McCrory announced Monday that he’s conceded the election to Roy Cooper, assuring a new period of divided power in state government. Four years after becoming the first Republican to win the North Carolina governor’s office in more than two decades, McCrory made the concession in a video message posted around noon Monday as a recount he requested in Durham County entered its final hours. Durham officials finished the recount later Monday with 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 said 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.”
With the concession, McCrory becomes the state’s first governor to lose a re-election bid since a constitutional amendment in the 1970s gave governors the ability to seek more than one four-year term. His defeat followed the nation’s second-costliest gubernatorial race and North Carolina’s most expensive ever.
Cooper, a Democrat and the state’s attorney general, had a lead of 10,293 votes over McCrory in nearly final election tallies on the State Board of Elections website Monday evening – about 0.2 percent of votes cast.
Cooper issued a written statement shortly after McCrory’s concession Monday, saying he looks forward to serving as governor. His campaign is planning to hold a “victory rally” on Tuesday night at N.C. State’s McKimmon Center in Raleigh.