In a coordinated public appeal, Rep. Tricia Cotham Monday joined Democratic lawmakers across the state in calling on Gov. Pat McCrory to concede the gubernatorial election.
“I understand it’s hard to lose,” she said outside the Mecklenburg County board of elections. “McCrory needs to be a statesman and do what the voters wanted and concede this race.”
The governor currently trails Democratic Attorney general Roy Cooper by 6,600 votes out of 4.7 million cast, according to the state elections board. On Election Day he trailed by around 5,000.
Meanwhile, Cooper named a transition team Monday.
The governor has contested votes in over half of North Carolina’s 100 counties. The protests were one reason county boards delayed their official canvasses, which had been scheduled for last Friday.
In a setback for McCrory, the state elections board Sunday denied a request by the governor’s team for the board to take jurisdiction over the county ballot reviews. The one exception was in Bladen County, where McCrory is protesting several hundred absentee ballots.
In a video released Sunday, Cooper said, “Gov. McCrory is doing everything he can to undermine the results of this election and the will of the people. But we won’t let him.”
McCrory spokesman Ricky Diaz shot back on Monday.
“Why is Roy Cooper so insistent on circumventing the electoral process and counting the votes of dead people and felons?” Diaz said in a statement. “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.”
Cotham, of Matthews, was the first of a handful of Democrats calling for the governor to concede. Similar events were planned in Asheville, Greensboro, Raleigh and Wilmington.
As co-chairs of his transition team Cooper named Kristi Jones, his current chief of staff, and Jim Phillips of Greensboro, former president of the UNC Board of Governors. He named Ken Eudy, founder of Raleigh strategic communications firm Capstrat, as executive director.