CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WGPH) – Is former Gov. Pat McCrory dropping his Republican label?
The short answer is no, but McCrory, who lost a tight re-election race to Gov. Roy Cooper in 2016 and ran second to Rep. Ted Budd in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate last spring, says he is joining forces to help political activist Benjamin Chavis in building the No Labels Party, McClatchy newspapers reported Monday.
Chavis, whose resume includes work with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., helped launch No Labels in 2010 to help develop leaders who “recommit to the fundamental beliefs that have historically united Americans.”
McCrory, who told McClatchy he remains “as strong of a Republican as I ever was” also said that he thinks “the two parties are failing.”
No Labels’ founding chair is former Democratic vice-presidential candidate and independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, and vice chairs with Chavis are former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and businessman John Hope Bryant.
And now add McCrory, a native of Jamestown and former mayor of Charlotte, to that mix. He told Danielle Battaglia, McClatchy’s Washington correspondent, he is volunteering to help get No Labels on the presidential ballot for 2024, although he said he won’t be its candidate.
President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, in a crowded Republican field, are the front-runners for 2024, and McCrory called them “two candidates that most people don’t want.”
He told McClatchy that he liked No Labels because it appeared to be trying to solve problems that many party leaders don’t attempt. “This is both Democrats and Republicans,” he said. “They’re more afraid of their primaries and the general election and they’re stymied and our country can’t afford this.”
As of Saturday, 35.9% of North Carolina’s 7,256,792 registered voters were registered as unaffiliated. Another 33.2% were Democrats, and 30.2% were Republicans. Almost all the rest were Libertarians. In 2020 about 75.35% of them cast ballots.
The Libertarian and Green parties typically field candidates. The Constitution Party was on the ballot in some races for 2020.
In 2024 in addition to the presidential election, North Carolina will elect its 14 members of Congress, its governor and its council of state (department executives), its General Assembly and a seat on the state Supreme Court, among other races. As of Saturday, there are three Republicans, one Democrat and a Libertarian running for governor.
For No Labels to get its presidential candidate on the ballot, it must meet requirements in every state. There sometimes are conflicting numbers about how many signatures are required on a petition for a party to be placed on the ballot.
The North Carolina Board of Elections site says that number is .025% of registered voters who cast ballots in the last governor’s election, which would be 13,757 of the 5,502,779 voted in 2020. Tracking No Labels’ petition on the NCBE site shows that goal has been surpassed.
Ballotpedia says cites an alternative method that states must be at least 2% of that voter pool, which would be about 110,056. Both say these signatures must include at least 200 from all 14 congressional districts and be completed by June 1, 2024.
CLARIFICATION: Additional information was added to this article about the status of petitions because of contradictory numbers for the signature requirements.