NC Governor Pat McCrory loses due to bathroom law
As a bright spot among the grim results in last month’s US elections, incumbent NC Governor Pat McCrory lost his re-election bid as North Carolina voters showed their unhappiness over his support of the anti-LGBT law HB2.
McCrory was beaten by Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat who had fought HB 2. McCrory’s loss numbered around 10,000 votes in the gubernatorial poll, leading him to concede the elections.
HB 2 (or House Bill 2)– which McCrory fully supported and signed into law this year– rescinded all LGBT-inclusive protections in North Carolina even as it ordered what public bathrooms transgenders could use in government buildings (hence its moniker as a “bathroom law”).
HB2 and NC Governor Pat McCrory
Even the federal government stepped into the matter– all of which may have impressed the North Carolina voters to vote against McCrory.
However, unlike other bathroom bills in other states that broke under public and political pressure, McCrory was adamant in pushing through with HB2.
As such, when he sought reelection, the gubernatorial vote also became a vote on HB2 with his main opponent being Cooper, the North Carolina attorney general who refused to defend the law.
During exit polls, North Carolina voters cited the economy as their main concern but 66 perecent also said they oppose the law.
In another survey commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), 57 percent of voters admitted HB2 was the their reason “not to vote for Pat McCrory.”
NC Governor Pat McCrory faces political blowback
LGBT groups said McCrory’s efforts to target transgenders and the rest of the LGBT community was political blowback.
“That’s a strong signal for the rest of the nation. It’s not a recipe for success to single out anybody when you’re a lawmaker. Voters saw a law passed unfairly targeting a group of people, and they rejected that kind of lawmaking,” said Jay Brown, HRC spokesperson.
Likewise, HRC president Chad Griffin said: “Pat McCrory’s reign of discrimination is finally over. McCrory’s stubborn and reckless support of HB2 cost him this election, and his defeat sends a powerful warning to lawmakers across the country that targeting LGBTQ people will not be tolerated.”
“The only place where transgender people were on the ballot this year was North Carolina. And we won,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
In a sense, this disproves some analysts’ assessment that the Democratic Party lost in the recent elections because of their support for sexual and gender minorities.
However, the new North Carolina Governor still has a lot of work to do in repealing the law, given that the Republican Party still controls the legislature.