CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, the original version of this story identified Roy Cooper as leading Pat McCrory 42 to 40 percent. Public Policy Polling shows McCrory leading Cooper 42 to 40 percent. The story has been updated to reflect these changes.
In his press conference, the gubernatorial candidate said partisan politics should be put aside when determining the constitutionality of this law.
And to Josh Stein — who recently resigned from the senate to focus on his own campaign for attorney general — a Cooper administration would not be defined by partisan battles or an inability to cross the aisle.
“I don’t think he will try to fan partisan flames,” Stein said. “I think he’ll just try to do what’s right for the people and work with other stakeholders to achieve real positive things for the state.”
Stein said he was not surprised Cooper declared his candidacy for governor, having heard suggestions that he should run in previous election cycles.
“But I respected his decision-making along the way in that he thought he could do more for people as attorney general, and now, he can do more as governor,” Stein said.
McCrory currently leads Cooper 42 to 40 percent, according to a March 22 poll by Public Policy Polling. Though 39 percent of voters reportedly have no opinion on Cooper.
Supporters call for new era
As in his condemnation of HB2, Cooper has been described as unafraid to defend his clients and perceptions of justice.
“(He) was always tough but appropriately tough,” Stein said. “He wasn’t looking to beat people up or seek unreasonable relief, but he also was consistent in what he was there for — which was to try to help people get some kind of compensation or relief.”
Gene McLaurin, a former state senator from Richmond County, said in his first interaction with Cooper, the two discussed the need for more transparency in government.
McLaurin, who had been considering running to regain his senate seat lost in 2014, said he had enough confidence in Cooper to put his own political aspirations on hold.
“I think people are ready for new leadership; they’re ready for someone who’ll roll up their sleeves and go to work to help everybody in North Carolina,” he said.
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