Roy Cooper wins, Raleigh legislators hold ground

William Royal, Op/ed editor

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On November 8, Donald J. Trump won the presidential election. While this shocked,

Roy Cooper won the 2016 gubernatorial race over Pat McCrory. What are his plans for our state?

surprised, and envigorated many, North Carolina’s governorship silently changed hands.

The Democratic contender in the gubernatorial election and former N.C. attorney general, Roy Cooper, was expected to lose to incumbent governor Pat McCrory. However, after an intense legal battle over a slim margin of votes, Cooper won the race when thousands of votes were found to have been cast in his favor.

While former Governor McCrory conceded to Cooper on December 5, many preparations and realizations were made with the political establishment in North Carolina.

On December 31, Cooper was sworn in as the 75th governor of North Carolina. “As we start this new year, as we go to work, let’s keep in mind the work that we have ahead and that we have to keep our eye on the horizon,” Cooper said. “I’m aware of the solemn responsibility that I’ve been given and the duty I have to uphold the Constitution.”

One aspect that needs consideration is the political environment outside of N.C.

Much of Cooper’s campaign was based on calling out the supposed wrongdoings of Pat McCrory and the glorious return to normalcy under a potential Hillary Clinton presidency.

Hillary Clinton was defeated, as were many other Democrats around the country. Roy Cooper’s win was one that stood somewhat lonely among those that lost on November 8, with air taken out of its sails.

Additionally, Cooper has previously voiced opposition to House Bill 2 (H.B. 2), a law aimed at protecting children from sex offenders. While it implicated many in the LGBT community, there was a great national outrage from the Left and the media.

Athletic tournaments, such as the N.C.A.A., and corporations, like Paypal, withdrew from North Carolina in an attempt to protect their reputation by virtue signalling to the rest of the nation. As expected, North Carolina Democrats were opposed to the law, running many in their party on campaigns that involved its repeal.

In December, an attempt to strike down H.B. 2 crumbled after Charlotte’s city government failed to make a deal with Senate Republicans. It seems that, even before Cooper has gone 100 days in office, his governorship is off to an uneventful start.

“The solution to [H.B. 2] is simple. Three words: Let them vote,” Cooper said on January 4. “That should be the message from this group to the leadership of the General Assembly – put it on the floor for a vote.”

Cooper faces difficulty in getting any future legislative goals completed. He is the meddling outsider to many Republicans in the state legislature. These Republicans, such as Senate leader Phil Berger, hold the power in North Carolina’s government. For Cooper to be a successful governor, he will be faced to either compromise or otherwise cooperate with the Republican establishment.