RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Monday said he plans to endorse Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley in the coming days.
Asked about recent comments in which he appeared to back his party’s presumptive Senate nominee, Cooper said he would soon formalize his support.
“I will be doing that. Yes,” Cooper said.
State Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Mecklenburg County Democrat, last week abruptly left the race to make way for Beasley, the first black woman to serve as chief justice of the state Supreme Court. Jackson swiftly endorsed Beasley, and many Democratic congressional leaders have since done so as well.
In an interview with WRAL, Cooper told the station that “the path is clear for her now” and that he plans on “helping her get elected.”
U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and ex-Rep. Mark Walker are the leading Republican candidates working to secure their party’s nomination, where they would then plan to square off against Beasley. The primary has been hotly contested, with McCrory and Walker frequently taking aim at Budd while a pro-Budd group attacks McCrory.
The Democratic and Republican contenders are looking to fill an open seat Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr is vacating.