Roy Cooper announces transition team despite disputed results

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Gov. Pat McCrory (left) and Attorney General Roy Cooper. (North Carolina Association of Broadcasters)

RALEIGH, N.C. — In a year in which Democrats have been hit by a solid right hook, the party is working to preserve what appears to be one of its few, significant victories.

Democrat Roy Cooper is moving forward with his claim that he won the governor’s race and today made a move that irked Republicans.

It doesn’t appear that Cooper is measuring the governor’s office for new drapes, but he’s done the next closest thing by announcing a transition team for an election that is still in dispute.

On election night, Cooper led Gov. Pat McCrory by about 4,000 votes out of the 4.7 million that had been counted.

Even though there were more than 100,000 provisional and absentee ballots left to count, Cooper declared victory on election night and today announced his transition team is in place.

Cooper’s team also put up a website where people can apply for jobs in the Cooper administration.

Since the election, as the provisional and absentee ballot count has begun, Cooper’s lead has extended to about 6,600 votes, though Republicans claim to have found serious cases of fraud among hundreds, if not thousands, of ballots and have challenges pending in more than half of the state’s counties.

We reached out to McCrory and his campaign spokesman released this statement:

“Why is Roy Cooper so insistent on circumventing the electoral process and counting the votes of dead people and felons? It may be because he needs those fraudulent votes to count in order to win. Instead of insulting North Carolina voters, we intend to let the process work as it should to ensure that every legal vote is counted properly.”

Cooper campaign spokesman Fred Porter released this statement:

“With no legitimate path to victory, Governor McCrory’s last resort has been to attack legitimate North Carolina voters in a shameful attempt to undermine the results of an election he lost. Repeatedly, GOP-controlled boards of elections have dismissed the McCrory campaign’s baseless complaints while Roy Cooper’s margin of victory has grown to nearly 8,000 votes. Roy Cooper is our Governor-Elect and Governor McCrory should concede.”

Cooper points out that the new gubernatorial term begins in a less than six weeks, so he needs to get started on the transition.

This all may be delayed further though, if McCrory demands a recount, which he is legally entitled to do if he trails by fewer than 10,000 votes.

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