Too close to call, Cooper leads McCroryBy Cash Michaels, Peacemaker Contributor / November 11, 2016
Coleman & Blue III loseBy the slimmest of electoral margins, Democrat Roy Cooper outpointed incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory election night by approximately 5,001 votes. Governor McCrory told a cheering crowd that possibly “thousands” of provisional ballots across the state, which had not been counted yet, could still determine the outcome.
“There has to be a process, and we have to respect the process,” the governor maintained, noting that Nov. 18 is the canvass date that the final totals in all election night races will be determined in North Carolina.
A happy Roy Cooper, however, declared victory election night, apparently confident that outstanding provisional ballots will lean his way. Over 4.7 million ballots were cast.
The race between state Atty. Gen. Cooper and Gov. McCrory was hotly contested for months, with the lead in the polls shifting between the two up until the very end.
If Cooper ultimately wins the governorship, he will have to contend with a N.C. General Assembly where Republicans have maintained super-majorities in both the state House and Senate.Meanwhile Democrat Linda Coleman, a former state lawmaker, once again fell short in her rematch with Republican Dan Forest in the contest for lieutenant governor, losing again to Forest, 52 to 45 percent. In 2012, Coleman came within a whisker of beating Forest.
Democrat Dan Blue III, the son of state Senate Minority Leader Sen. Dan Blue (D-Wake), also lost in his bid for state treasurer, losing to Republican Dale Folwell, 53 – 47 percent. That seat was open when incumbent Janet Cowell decided not to run for another term.
Democrat June Atkinson, longtime state superintendent of Public Instruction, lost her seat to Republican challenger Mark Johnson, 51 to 49 percent. Former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, a Democrat, was unsuccessful in his attempt to defeat incumbent Republican N.C. Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry, 56 to 44 percent.
While Democratic incumbent state Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin lost re-election to Republican challenger Mike Causey, Democrat state Auditor Beth Wood won another four-year term, 51 to 49 percent.
Former state Sen. Josh Stein, a Democrat, won a close contest over Republican Buck Newton for state attorney general, 50 to 49 percent.