Democrat Roy Cooper claimed victory in North Carolina’s tight governor’s race early Wednesday, but incumbent Pat McCrory has not conceded, saying all the votes have not been counted.
Early Wednesday, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, Cooper led McCrory 49 percent to 48.9 percent. The margin was fewer than 4,500 votes out of 4.7 million total.
Cooper gave a celebratory speech to supporters at about 1:30 a.m. after being announced as the governor-elect.
“This has been a hard-fought race, but the people of North Carolina have spoken, and they want a change in leadership in Raleigh,” Cooper said, according to the Charlotte Observer. “We are confident that these results will be certified and they will confirm victory.”
But McCrory cautioned that all votes had not been counted. On Wednesday morning, he said the true victor won’t be known until the official canvass is complete on Nov. 18. That count will include provisional ballots.
“We’re going to fight for every vote between now and Nov. 18,” McCrory told supporters in Raleigh, according to the Observer. “We’re going to check everything and we’re going to make sure that every vote counts… We plan to be governor in a second term right here in North Carolina.”
Republican Donald Trump won the state, but Cooper had a strong showing in the Triangle and Mecklenburg County, the Observer reported.
McCrory has been tainted by the aftermath of HB2, a law requiring transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding with the gender on their birth certificate, which has prompted a court challenge and boycotts, The Washington Post reported.