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AG Cooper may run for North Carolina governor

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North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper may run for governor in 2016, challenging Pat McCrory. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper may run for governor in 2016, challenging Pat McCrory.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina attorney general Roy Cooper said Thursday that he is weighing a run for governor, becoming the second prominent Democrat in two days to say he is looking at a run against Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

On Wednesday, former Raleigh mayor Charles Meeker said he was looking at running against McCrory in 2016.

"I am concerned about where we are headed in our state. I am concerned about that direction," Cooper said, when asked directly if he would run. "I want to be a part of that change.

"It's certainly too early to make any formal announcements but I want to be part of moving North Carolina forward and moving in the right direction."

Last month, Durham attorney Ken Spaulding announced his intent to run for governor of the state. Spaulding is a former state House member, congressional candidate and Board of Transportation member.

Spaulding said he is getting in the race early because taxpayers and voters tell him they want a reasonable alternative to the Republicans' "extremist positions and actions" this year.

James Protzman of Chapel Hill, a business consultant and contributor the "Blue NC" blog, already filed paperwork with the State Board of Elections in May creating a gubernatorial campaign committee.

Cooper and the Republican administration have clashed often this year. In one such example of the two parties clashing, Cooper asked McCrory to veto a controversial voter identification bill, but McCrory still signed the legislation.

Cooper, Meeker, Spaulding and Protzman are all Democrats.

Cooper was first elected Attorney General in 2000 and elected to a fourth term in 2012.

Cooper, from Nash County, attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar and also got his law degree at UNC. He served in the legislature before becoming Attorney General.

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