Cooper declares victory, McCrory says governor’s race too close to call

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) – Attorney General Roy Cooper is declaring victory in a tight gubernatorial race with incumbent Pat McCrory.

He told supporters early Wednesday morning that, “We are confident that these results will be certified, and they will confirm victory.”

The latest figures showed McCrory trailed Cooper by 3,700 votes. However, he took the stage at his election watch party after midnight and said more than 90,000 votes still needed to be counted, suggesting the earliest the governor’s race will have a result is November 18.

McCrory said North Carolinians have to respect the system and let the process take place. He called for the canvassing of votes in several counties.

The latest election numbers are still too close to call, with incumbent Governor Pat McCrory and his challenger Attorney General Roy Cooper in a dead heat tossup.

For almost four years, McCrory has led the Tar Heel State.

Republicans 9 On Your Side spoke with on Tuesday said they were cautiously optimistic. Preview polls showed the governor’s race as neck and neck.

McCrory supporters were excited and hopeful their leader will get to stay in the governor’s mansion.

“Our experience speaks for itself and I think North Carolinians appreciate that common sense takeaway,” said Kami Mueller, NCGOP spokeswoman. “And they don’t want something worse! They want to continue this economic growth and they’re ready for four more years of that. And that’s what I’m excited [about] and we will hopefully see [that] tonight.”

A number of elected officials were at an election watch party for McCrory, including the Wake County sheriff and Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy.

“Everyone just seems so happy and optimistic, so I think it’s a great time right now, “said William Murray, an NC State student. Another student, Cheyenne Green, agreed.

“It’s very hopeful,” said Green. “It’s very energetic. I think that a lot of people here are very convinced that McCrory is going to get it again.”

A big talker in the governor’s race was House Bill 2, the controversial law that forces transgenders to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate.

9 On Your Side asked Mueller about the effects of that bill on the election. She said certain things impact families and HB2 is not one of them.

The true impact of HB2 won’t be known until the votes come in.

Cooper supporters were optimistic the tide is about to turn on McCrory.

“Obviously it’s been a competitive race,” said Ford Porter, communication director, Roy Cooper campaign. “We’re expecting it to be tight, every vote is going to count and we feel really good. We’ve had consistent leads in the polls and we think our voters are coming out and we’re looking forward to the votes coming in at 7:30.”

Many cheers erupted at Cooper’s party, and Democrat Mike Song said it would be a historic night.

“This crowd gets to be involved in a historical moment where every person who has a daughter a grandmother…can look and say ‘The sky is the limit for you.’ And we’ve proven that to be true,” said Song.

Another big race was for the North Carolina Senate. Democrat Deborah Ross challenged Senator Richard Burr who’s held the seat since 2005, but even with an endorsement from President Barack Obama, Burr held onto his seat.

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