Gov. Pat McCrory has accepted the fact that he lost the 2016 governor's race and has conceded to Attorney General Roy Cooper, the next governor of North Carolina.
McCrory's concession has relieved my worry that he and his GOP colleagues might be plotting a slick move of having the General Assembly declare an election deadlock to give McCrory another term, despite what voters did.
McCrory was the big loser on the state's ballot. Fellow Republicans won statewide elections for U.S. Senate and president, but McCrory lagged far behind his 2012 success. A pre-election hurricane gave McCrory an opportunity to be seen carrying out his responsibilities and empathizing with residents, but that wasn't enough to save him from his self-inflicted wounds.
The moderate mayor of Charlotte joined hands with the harshest conservatives in the legislature and passed an unnecessary bill that infuriated gay rights supporters across the nation. The legislation was passed in unprecedented haste, and McCrory angrily defended the bill and denied, despite all evidence, that the legislation hurt North Carolina's economy, its prestige and its reputation. It appears obvious that House Bill 2 hurt McCrory's re-election bid, bringing out voters who might not have cared otherwise. McCrory and attorney general candidate Buck Newton, a sponsor and defender of HB2, were the only Republicans in prominent statewide races who failed to win.
The voters have unleashed their anger at McCrory, but little will change so long as the General Assembly has a veto-proof Republican minority, most of them ensconced in gerrymandered safe seats that make them immune from Democratic challengers.