North Carolina’s incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory conceded Monday his bid to be re-elected as North Carolina’s governor.
The Republican was challenged by Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper in a pitched battle where transgender students’ access to public school bathrooms and teacher pay took center stage.
But the Nov. 8 race was too close to call for weeks, and with just a few thousand votes behind, Gov. McCrory contested the race.
It is time to “celebrate our democratic process and respect what I see to be the ultimate outcome of the closest North Carolina governor’s race in modern history,” McCrory said at a press conference, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
“I personally believe the majority of our citizens have spoken, and we should do everything we can to support the 75th governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper.”
McCrory took a lot of heat for his decision to publicly challenge the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance to allow transgender students to be able to use bathrooms of their choice. McCrory interpreted the guidance as a clear overstep of states’ rights. But the state’s business community disagreed.
Cooper also challenged McCrory on his education record, arguing during his campaign that McCrory’s aggressive accountability agenda ran many teachers out of the profession, creating a statewide teacher shortage. He also argued that teacher pay had not increased under McCrory’s term.
The gubernatorial race was, according to many state reports, the closest race in the state’s history.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.