“North Carolina is better than this — it’s time for our state to work for everyone, not just a few,” Cooper said. “That’s why today I am announcing I am a candidate for governor of North Carolina.”
Cooper made the announcement Monday from Nash Community College, having grown up in Nash County. His speech focused on raising the minimum wage, improving public education and lowering college tuition costs.
“It’s so emotional for me that he’s coming to Nash County Community College — that indicates that he’s for everyone, for all, for people that have an education or no education and for people who really want to dream the American dream,” said Matty Lazo-Chadderton of the Democratic Women of Wake County.
“With Roy Cooper, what you see is what you get. He walks the walk, he does not talk the talk,” she said. “In Spanish we say, “Hechos, y no palabras,” meaning “fight, and not ‘blah blah blah’” — that’s Roy Cooper.”
He’s challenging incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory — with a recent poll by Public Policy Polling putting Cooper in the lead for the third month in a row.
“The crowd that’s in charge in Raleigh is leading us down the wrong path, giving to those at the top while forcing everyone else to pay more and get less,” Cooper said. “They slash away at our schools and universities, leaving behind too many people in too many places — but I know North Carolina can lead the South again.”
Cooper would be a welcome change from McCrory’s politics, particularly where education is concerned, said UNC Law student Jeff Warren.
“My stepmother is in public education, and we’ve really felt the impact of the policies of Gov. McCrory and the state legislature for far too long — to think that we can’t do something to change this is ridiculous,” he said.
Warren said he would like to see Cooper make significant changes with regard to North Carolina’s higher education policy, particularly in light of recent budget cuts to the UNC Law School, including the closure of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity.
“To think that there’s a state legislature that’s not looking out for its students is something that’s really got to change,” he said.
Cooper previously served in the N.C. House of Representatives and the N.C. Senate. Lazo-Chadderton said Cooper’s record in the Senate led her to support his campaign, in addition to his inclusive policies.
“We can have a wonderful North Carolinian dream with Roy Cooper as the governor,” said Lazo-Chadderton. “We are ready for a change.”