Cooper out-raises McCrory in governor's race

Posted July 12

Gov. Pat McCrory, left, and Attorney General Roy Cooper shake hands after their first gubernatorial debate on June 24, 2016.

— Attorney General Roy Cooper's gubernatorial campaign raised $5.12 million over the past four months, outpacing Gov. Pat McCrory's fundraising take by $1.9 million and building on a lead he established early in 2015.

Cooper, a Democrat, hopes to unseat McCrory, a Republican, in this fall's gubernatorial election and reports having $9.4 million cash on hand at the beginning of July.

"An unprecedented number of North Carolinians are fed up with Governor McCrory’s partisan political agenda, and voters are ready for a leader who will put the interests of all North Carolinians first," Jamal Little, Cooper's campaign spokesman, said in a statement.

McCrory had $6.3 million cash on hand at the beginning of July, putting him $3.1 million behind Cooper as the campaign enters its last four months. Asked about Cooper's fundraising lead, McCrory brushed it off.

"Well, wow, I guess we know what he's been doing now instead of his job," McCrory told reporters Tuesday after a economic development announcement in Cary. "He's obviously had a lot of time to raise money, while I've been finding money to give historic pay raises to teachers."

McCrory and Cooper have clashed over a number of policy issues, such as the recently enacted body camera bill. But no policy has divided them more than House Bill 2, the controversial measure dealing with LGBT rights and the ability of transgender people to use the public bathroom of their choice.

McCrory has defended the measure, while Cooper has criticized it and refused to defend it in court.

"House Bill 2 was a bad law that was born in a shroud of secrecy," Cooper said Tuesday morning before fundraising numbers were announced.

Cooper has said previously that he chose to defend nondiscrimination policies in his office and the Office of the State Treasurer rather than use his resources to defend House Bill 2. This has prompted McCrory and his campaign to criticize Cooper for not carrying out his responsibility to defend the state.

"Roy Cooper has obviously found a lot of time to raise money instead of doing his job, which we asked him to do," McCrory said.

Cooper has already deployed his fundraising advantage, using it to put the first candidate ads of the general election campaign on television. McCrory has not yet aired ads, but Renew NC, a 501(c)(4) group aligned with the governor, has aired ads praising McCrory's work.

McCrory said that, despite lagging Cooper in fundraising, he feels confident about the fall campaign.

"Oh, we're going to do just fine. We've got sufficient money to get our message out and build upon the successes we're having in both teacher pay raises and job creation here in North Carolina," McCrory said. "I think we've got the best candidate."


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  • Shandy Scott Jul 14, 8:53 a.m.
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    The deficit at the end of the TWO year budget that created the 2.5 billion dollar deficit which at the time was the country's fifth largest was created in June of 2010 by a completely Democratic controlled General Assembly and a Democratic Governor.

  • Shandy Scott Jul 14, 7:04 a.m.
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    Aiden you are spinning!!! We will call you from now on Cleopatra, the queen of denial.

  • Shandy Scott Jul 14, 7:02 a.m.
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    Rhetoric versus FACTS. Gee Carl wonder who won this debate!!!!

  • Carl Keehn Jul 13, 4:38 p.m.
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    You keep posting the same claim over and over and ignore repeatedly that the Legislature has been under Republican Control since the 2010 election, with a supermajority. Our employment rate has grown slower than the national average, the tax burden on paper, may have improved, however many middle class people saw their taxes go up. Sales taxes have been raised and expanded to more categories. The Legislature has declared war on the urban areas, Asheville, Charlotte and the Triangle, instituting illegal laws to take Municipal property or to deny local representation. Although the business climate shows some positive gains, there are also serious red flags. North Carolina is rated very poorly for quality of life and for infrastructure, both important to support new business.

  • Aiden Audric Jul 13, 11:12 a.m.
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    Correlation and causation are not the same thing.

  • Steve Moore Jul 12, 10:07 p.m.
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    If you liked Jim Hunt, Easley and Perdue.....you will love Roy Cooper.....just another good `ol boy tax and spend Democrat political hack.

  • Cameron Horn Jul 12, 10:06 p.m.
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    Be careful are the members of the WRAL online community will disable your account for not supporting their views …. Oops there goes my account

  • Demute Sainte Jul 12, 6:26 p.m.
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    Maybe Roy can buy his way to becoming the Governor... but it wont be on his merits as the AG.

    He has been an utter failure.

  • Aiden Audric Jul 12, 5:54 p.m.
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    Better educated people tend to make more income they can donate.

  • Sean Chen Jul 12, 5:11 p.m.
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    Apparently WRAL won't allow me to repost my first post that holds AG Cooper responsible for taking out of state money for pushing special interests.

    He actively recruited and encouraged out of state businesses to boycott our state of NC causing us pain to further his own political ambitions.

    Roy Cooper is the sucker's choice for governor.