2020 General Election
Five Pieces from Roy Cooper’s career
- Roy Cooper https://www.roycooper.com was elected Governor of North Carolina in 2016. After sixteen years as attorney general. A Morehouse Scholar at the University of North Carolina. State legislator, Sixteen years as Attorney General. His election as Governor reflected his strengths and a changing North Carolina. 2016 was the first time since 1850 (the first time in 166 years) that a North Carolina sitting governor was defeated in a general election. Democrat Roy Cooper defeated Republican Governor Pat McCrory.
- In January, 2007, the Durham District Attorney asked to be recused from the Duke lacrosse case. Several members of the Duke University lacross team had been accused of rape. Falsely, it turns out. Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Attorney general’s office took over the controversial case that had led to conversations about the privileges of upper class whites, about racism, and about the treatment of women. They didn’t talk long. In April, Roy Cooper and the attorney general’s office dismissed the case. They had found the lacrosse players to be were victims of false accusations. They stayed away from the other conversations.
- In April, 2007, just north of North Carolina, a student at Virginia Tech shot 49 people on campus, killing 32 of them. Roy Cooper created a campus safety task force. The result was legislation in North Carolina to require record keeping of involuntary mental health commitments, records that would be included in a national data base. Bold at the time.
- In 2010, a panel of judges reviewed Gregor Taylor’s murder conviction and exonerated him. Roy Cooper set an audit of the State Bureau of Investigation forensic lab which had provided the evidence to convict Taylor. In its zeal to find evidence to support prosecutors, the lab had withheld exonerating evidence. The lab appeared to be more interested in helping obtain convictions than forensic science. Roy Cooper’s investigators found over 200 cases affected by the laboratory’s bad acts, 80 unfairly treated defendants still in prison, and three who had been executed. Roy Cooper fired the head of the Bureau of Investigation. The new head fired the crime lab head. Defense attorneys were left to address the tainted cases.
- Roy Cooper’s run for governor in 2016 occurred after years of him resisting recruitment for higher office. He declined encouragement to run for Governor in 2008. He declined encouragement to run for the US Senate against Richard Burr in 2010. By 2012, he was so entrenched and so popular as Attorney General his fourth run for election was easy. No opposition in the primary. No opposition in the general election. A cautious man and fixture as Attorney General, he finally decided he could run for Governor.
Despite his caution, Roy Cooper’s tenure as governor has been disputatious. As soon as he was elected, the legislature, with gerrymandered Republican supermajorities in both houses, began eliminating his areas of authority. Roy Cooper vetoed 28 bills the legislature passed after he took office and before the 2018 election. Twenty-three of the vetoes were overridden. He turned to the courts and got much of his authority back.
Republicans lost their supermajorities in the 2018 election. There is nothing stable about this situation. For the short term or the long term.
Democrats have a 6 – 1 majority on the state supreme court. Suits about the gerrymandered legislature are in the federal courts. Suits about voter suppression are in the state courts. Another gubernatorial election is coming up in 2020.
Roy Cooper’s proposed budget reflects how he would create stability if he could. The son of a teacher and aware of teacher unrest in the South, he would pay teachers more. Faced with a federal administration that wants offshore oil exploration, he proposed research into offshore wind energy. When he testified before Congress supporting steps to slow climate change, he did so in the company of the Republican governor of Massachusetts. Roy Cooper’s would create bipartisanship if he could.
Roy Cooper’s appointments and positions demonstrate his vision of stability. He created an entrepreneurship council to which he appointed business leaders. He advocated for an increase in the minimum wage. It didn’t need to be $15 per hour, but “as high as we can get it.”
The now Democratic Board of Elections fired Kim Starch from her position as Executive Director of the Board. Republicans claimed the firing was sexist. She was fired because of her husband. He is one of the principal attorneys defending the Republicans on elections issues. Roy Cooper rescinded his Human Relations Commission appointment of Charlotte City Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield. Republicans found a statement of hers describing police as “homegrown terrorists.”
A rematch with former governor Pat McCrory is possible. The only announced Republican candidate is the current Lt. Governor, Dan Forest. Forest is an architect and son of Sue Myrick – former mayor of Charlotte and congresswoman. A civic leader on architectural issues, he is also a conservative cultural warrior. He is the former chair of Wake Forest Pregnancy Support Services, an agency “committed to giving women the resources they need to enable them to choose life.”
Can the Democrats of North Carolina’s have an election in 2020 that resembles Virginia’s election of 2017? Virginia Democrats swept statewide offices? They transformed the legislature? Still gerrymandered, Virginia Democrats came within two disputed, recounted districts of winning control of the Virginia House of Delegates.
Begin North Carolina’s transformation by reelecting the Democratic governor. Help Roy Cooper https://www.roycooper.com now. Help him monthly. The 2020 election is both imminent and almost a year and a half away. The contests in North Carolina have been bitter. They are fighting over political power and a way of life. Democrats need Roy Cooper’s reelection.
Southern Democrats running for office in 2019:
John Bel Edwards Reelection as Governor of Louisiana
Jim Hood Current AG, running for Governor of Mississippi
Jennifer Riley Collins Mississippi Attorney General
Southern Democrat running statewide in 2020
Doug Jones Reelection as Senator from Alabama
Roy Cooper Reelection as Governor of North Carolina
Jaime Harrison Party Leader running for Senator from South Carolina
Southern Democrats running for Congress
Joe Cunningham Reelection to SC 01
Elaine Luria Reelection to VA 02
Lucy McBath Reelection to GA 06
Dan McCready Special Election for NC 09 (2019)
Debbie Mucarcel-Powell Reelection to FL 26
Allen Thomas Special Election for NC 03 (2019)
THE SOUTH IS CHANGING. BE PART OF THAT CHANGE. HELP IT HAPPEN.