Raleigh, N.C. — The Republican Governors Association has joined the television fray in North Carolina's gubernatorial campaign, accusing Democrat Roy Cooper of raising taxes.
Cooper, the state's attorney general, is trying to unseat Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. Already, a national Democratic organization as well as a nonprofit group formed to bolster McCrory's agenda have aired ads related to the campaign. McCrory's own campaign aired an ad on Super Bowl weekend.
This latest salvo by the RGA is a straightforward accusation that Cooper raised taxes on North Carolinians. Cooper served two terms in the state House and five terms in the state Senate before becoming attorney general in 2001.
"Thirty-year career politician Roy Cooper has increased taxes on just about everything," a voice-over artist says during the commercial's introduction.
The commercial goes on to suggest Cooper is responsible for higher gas, sales and income taxes. It finishes with the tag line, "Career politician Roy Cooper – higher taxes on families."
For context, it may be helpful to know that, while McCrory hasn't racked up 30 years in office, he was Charlotte's longest-serving mayor and will notch 24 years in elected positions at the end of 2016.
Cooper's campaign responded by calling the ad an attempt to district from the impact of House Bill 2, the controversial measure that started in response to Charlotte's transgender nondiscrimination ordinance.
"The truth is in the last two years, the sales tax has gone up by $400 million, and the gas tax has gone up $1.2 billion. That's why voters are ready for new leadership in Raleigh," Cooper spokesman Jamal Little said.
The ad is scheduled to run for at least the next three weeks in the Raleigh, Charlotte and Greensboro markets on both broadcast and cable television.