Election News

Gov. Pat McCrory still thousands of votes short in North Carolina race

As expected, the bathroom law hurt McCrory in the state’s booming and diverse urban areas, such as Charlotte and the Raleigh-Durham area, with their large banking and technology sectors. Unofficial results Tuesday showed that even in many of the rural areas that he won, McCrory didn’t match Trump’s vote totals.

Gay rights organizations welcomed the outcome.

“There’s no question the voters have spoken and resoundingly rejected the hate that is H.B. 2,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

Asked about the law’s effect on the vote totals, McCrory campaign spokesman Ricky Diaz said by email there’s no outcome yet and others will have time to dissect the election once a winner is declared.

Still, even if Cooper prevails, not much may change. Republicans maintained veto-proof majorities in the state Senate and House.

The bathroom law was not the only thing to hurt McCrory. The governor took criticism in the past year in the Charlotte area for not actively trying to block construction of toll lanes on Interstate 77.

Another place that felt the effects of House Bill 2 — and other Republican policies — was the city of Wilmington.

Before McCrory took office, Wilmington had a booming $170 million film industry. But the elimination of state tax incentives for film projects and the entertainment industry’s backlash against House Bill 2 have cut that to about $60 million this year, said Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission.

McCrory won the county by 15,500 votes in 2012 and lost it by 5,000 votes this time. Trump won the county on Tuesday by 4,000 votes.

“Trump carried New Hanover County, but McCrory didn’t?” Griffin said. “The film industry is very important in this town. People get it.”

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