Cooper hires legal team to protect vote; N. Meck bailed on McCrory

Nov. 10. Roy Cooper has hired a legal team to protect the results of the gubernatorial election which has him ahead of Pat McCrory by 4,979 votes, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. McCrory has not conceded.

The team will be led by election-protection attorneys Marc Elias and Kevin Hamilton of Perkins Coie, and Edwin Speas of Poyner Spruill.

McCrory lost, thanks–or no thanks—to a dramatic loss of support from largely Republican Northern Mecklenburg precincts. It looks like the toll lanes are the cause.

NC Rep. John Bradford, a big winner in his bid for re-election to the NC District 98 seat once held by Thom Tillis, said the “toll issue was a very important issue” in his race.

He pushed HB954—a toll cancellation bill—through the NC House only to have it fail in the NC Senate, helping thwart opponent Jane Campbell, whose campaign was largely based on HB2.

Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jim Puckett blamed the toll issue—and McCrory’s steadfast support of tolls—for what looks like a serious rebuke of the governor and the toll plan in North Meck.

“It would appear what I had warned about three years ago and spent the last two trying to avoid may be close to coming true,” said Puckett, a Republican who fought the tolls. In the 14 North Meck precincts “where the voters have begged for cancelation of the I-77 toll lane contract,” the Republican governor saw a reduction of 20,432 votes from his 2012 race, he said. “It is an unfortunate outcome when victory could have been so much easier.”

McCrory ran behind all of the other Republicans on the statewide ticket, including Sen. Richard Burr, who easily won re-election. Locally, GOP incumbents such as NC Rep. John Bradford and NC Sen. Jeff Tarte also won with ease, leaving little doubt that the toll lane issue was huge in the McCrory/Cooper race. Bradford sponsored HB 95, the toll cancellation bill that passed overwhelming in the House but failed in the Senate.

McCrory held a 1- or 2-point lead most of Tuesday night, but by early Wednesday morning he was telling supporters that a recanvass would be done since the results were so close. After his comments, the governor was “swept out of the room and away from reporters so we had no chance to ask him any questions,” said WBT’s Mark Garrison.   Cooper proclaimed victory shortly thereafter and expressed confidence that the victory would be upheld during a recount.

Kurt Naas, head of the anti-toll group, summed it up this way: “McCrory’s underperformance in North Meck, on a night when Republicans outperformed expectations nationwide, decided the governor’s race.”

Bradford said that despite “a well-coordinated effort by my opponent to try and blame me for the tolls, voters in District 98 were not fooled by the misleading and negative mailers. In the end, we finished strong and I look forward serving another term.”

Whether McCrory gets another four years in the governor’s mansion is doubtful.

“We are confident that when the election results are certified it will confirm Tuesday’s victory by Governor-Elect Cooper. We expect Governor McCrory to accept the will of voters when the State Board of Elections, chaired by his appointees, certifies those results. In the meantime, the Cooper Campaign will work to ensure that every vote is properly counted and to protect the integrity of our democratic process,” said Cooper Campaign Manager Trey Nix.

—Dave Vieser and Dave Yochum contributed to this story


One Response to “Cooper hires legal team to protect vote; N. Meck bailed on McCrory”

  1. From the former House representative in the 98th district:

    Learn more about the real story and motive behind House Bill 954, how the legislature really operates, and how politicians John Bradford and Jeff Tarte played the public to get re-elected.

    *Question for the public to ponder — Why didn’t the Cornelius Today article mention that politicians Thom Tillis, John Bradford, and Jeff Tarte were responsible for the toll roads? Keep a close eye on the reporting from The Cornelius Today, Business Today and the other free newspapers in the area. They exist to prop up the local political clique and usual suspects in the community.

    Learn More at North Mecklenburg News

    Posted by John Rhodes | November 11, 2016, 8:09 am

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