In a video message released at noon Monday, Gov. Pat McCrory conceded the 2016 election to Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper.
McCrory said “being the 74th governor of North Carolina has been a privilege and an honor,” but he respects “the outcome of the closest governor’s race in modern history.”
“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 added.
Reaction to the governor’s concession came quickly.
State Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes highlighted McCrory’s policy agenda:
Many elected officials tried to reform North Carolina’s tax system before Governor McCrory, but none of them were nearly as successful. His tax reform plan provided tax relief to every class of taxpayers, and freed North Carolina from the highest tax rates in the Southeast.
His record on job creation is unmatched, as North Carolina’s jobless rate moved from one of the worst in the nation to among the best. The governor’s leadership on infrastructure and energy will pay dividends for years to come as our citizens drive to work, heat their homes, educate their children and enjoy our state’s beauty from Manteo to Murphy.
Demanding accountability in public education while providing the largest teacher pay raise in the nation, as well as providing unprecedented school choice, are all critical measures in reforming and improving our education system.
“North Carolina is a stronger state thanks to Governor Pat McCrory’s steadfast leadership and fiscal discipline,” said Republican Governors Association Chairman Gov. Scott Walker. “With over 300,000 jobs created on his watch, 9-year low unemployment, a $450 million budget surplus and $4.4 billion in tax relief, North Carolina is thriving. While we hoped for a different outcome from this very close race, ensuring all of the legal votes that were cast were counted was the right thing to do. As soon as that was done, Governor McCrory respected the will of the voters. The RGA is exceptionally appreciative of Governor McCrory for his strong leadership and enormous accomplishments as governor.”
State Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, paid tribute to the outgoing governor while issuing a challenge to the incoming one:
Gov. McCrory leaves a tremendous positive legacy for our state and deserves a great deal of credit for graciously conceding an election that brought much-needed attention to the potential for fraud, and other weaknesses, in our state’s election system. We will work with Gov.-elect Cooper to address these problems and to make certain voters have confidence in the outcome of future elections.
We hope Gov.-elect Cooper is willing to work with us to continue improving public education and cutting taxes on families and job creators – policies championed by Gov. McCrory that have generated budget surpluses, robust economic growth and hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Given that Gov.-elect Cooper won his new office with a razor-thin plurality, it is clear there is no groundswell of public support for his campaign pledge of a massive income tax increase on our state’s citizens and businesses.
In a statement from his campaign, Cooper offered gratitude and a desire for unity.
I’m proud to have received the support of so many who believe that we can come together to make a North Carolina that works for everyone. It will be the honor of my life to serve this great state.
I also want to thank Governor McCrory and his wife Ann for their service to our state.
While this was a divisive election season, I know there is still more that unites us than divides us.
See the governor’s video message below.