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Cooper presses for 'new priorities' in gubernatorial bid

Posted October 12, 2015
Updated October 13, 2015

— Walking in to the strains of Sam & Dave's "Hold On, I'm Comin'," Attorney General Roy Cooper ended months of speculation Monday by announcing his candidacy for governor in 2016.

"It's time for a governor who believes that we should measure our state by the success of regular working folks," Cooper told hundreds of cheering supporters at Nash Community College in his hometown of Rocky Mount.

Citing the recent sales tax expansion and corporate tax cuts passed into law, stagnant wages and the loss of experienced teachers to other states, he said Republican Gov. Pat McCrory "has the wrong priorities for North Carolina."

"We need a new set of priorities," he said. "It's time for everyone, not just the select few, to experience the rewards of our improving economy."

Republicans immediately pounced on Cooper, saying his priorities aren't in sync with the rest of North Carolina.

"From higher taxes, to bigger government, to unchecked corruption, Roy Cooper represents the worst of the broken system and the broken policies of the past," said North Carolina GOP executive director, Dallas Woodhouse prior to Cooper's announcement. "Roy Cooper will take us back to the future."

The GOP noted that he raised taxes to increase state spending when he was in the General Assembly in the 1980s and 1990s and later refused to defend state laws in court as attorney general.

"We’ve already seen what the future would look like if Roy Cooper was governor," a GOP statement said. "We can’t let him take us backwards."

Durham lawyer Ken Spaulding, who previously announced his bid to be the Democratic nominee for governor, also criticized Cooper, calling him "the establishment's hand-picked career politician."

Cooper's three daughters preceded his announcement with anecdotes of his support for education and fighting for what you believe in and what's right.

He said he learned those values from his late parents – a farmer and a teacher – and has tried to uphold them during his four terms as attorney general, pursuing lenders, telemarketers and others for fraudulent practices.

But he said North Carolina is suffering under Republican leadership and needs to take a different tack – one that he could steer toward as governor.

"The crowd that's in charge in Raleigh is leading us down the wrong path," he said. "I know North Carolina can lead the South again. ... We can make it happen if we can get back to creating a North Carolina where everyone gets a chance to get ahead."

Cooper said that path is hurting working people and the state's education system.

"Wages are stagnant, the cost of college is skyrocketing, we are not recruiting enough high-paying jobs and our schools are starved for resources," Cooper said.

11 Comments

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  • Charlie Watkins Oct 14, 2015
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    Hate to admit but I think Roy will ride Hillary's coattails to victory over Pat.

    The GOP will be fighting over which nutcase to represent them in the Presidential race as Hillary is picking out the new drapes for the Lincoln bedroom.

    The Democrats are once again united behind Hillary. Bernie and the Jets will be dropping out of the race before too long and they will all unite behind Bill & Hillary.

    The GOP will still be fighting while Hillary is being sworn in.

    And you know I speak the truth.

  • B.c. Jimmy Oct 13, 2015
    user avatar

    He should not have prosecuted the cop in Charlotte. Shame on you roy

  • Ray Ubinger Oct 13, 2015
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    He ran unopposable. Every voter who opposed him got censored for it. The legislature declared him the only possible winner before any ballot was even printed, much less cast. He was not chosen by the people.

  • Roy Hinkley Oct 13, 2015
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    He ran unopposed in 2012. If someone wanted to run against they could have.

    Also, I'm no expert in election law, but it does appear a candidate can petition for write-in status... http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/statutes/statutelookup.pl?statute=163-123

  • Ray Ubinger Oct 13, 2015
    user avatar

    Would he repeal NC's ban on write-in voting? I'm guessing not. It's how he got 2,828,941 out of 2,828,941 counted votes for Attorney General.

  • Sam Adams Oct 13, 2015
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    I agree with you sir, but the truth is we live in a plutocracy and not a democracy. Does not matter if there is a D or an R next to their name. In the end, both parties just answer to the corporate backers and wealthy elite that put them there. I certainly do not believe Mr. Cooper is an exception.

  • Walter Smirth Oct 13, 2015
    user avatar

    Go Cooper, go! It is time for a state government that serves the ordinary people of the state rather than the corporations and the well to do.

  • Sam Adams Oct 13, 2015
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    What path is that? The path leading to budget deficits? Because she was good for that. I am a life long democrat and even I will admit that. So far everything I have seen from Mr. Cooper leads me to believe he would not be any different that Bev.

  • Don Benfield Oct 13, 2015
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    I was brought up being taught "two wrongs don't make a right." So please explain how Republican cronyism will fix the so-called Democratic cronyism you decry?

  • Charlie Watkins Oct 13, 2015
    user avatar

    North Carolina has lost ground under McCrory and I think Gov Cooper will continue the path set by Gov Easley and Gov Perdue.

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