Metro Weekly

Pat McCrory’s hometown paper refuses to endorse him for first time since 1991

The Charlotte Observer called HB 2 "a hateful and self-defeating bill" and said "it will be McCrory's legacy"

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory - Photo: Office of the Governor

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory – Photo: Office of the Governor

Gov. Pat McCrory has lost one of his long-time supporters. The Charlotte Observer, McCrory’s hometown paper, has refused to endorse him due to his support for North Carolina’s anti-LGBT HB 2 law.

In an editorial, the paper, which has endorsed McCrory in every one of his bids for office since 1991, explained why they’re pulling their support this year.

“After the 2014 mid-term elections, we wrote an editorial suggesting to McCrory things he should do to win re-election in 2016. ‘Stay away from lightning-rod social issues. They’re a political loser in a purple state, and a distraction from those “very complex problems” you hope to solve,'” the paper wrote.

“Governor, meet lightning rod. McCrory rushed to sign House Bill 2 on March 23, hours after the House and Senate rammed it through. North Carolina’s reputation has been melting ever since. McCrory adamantly defends the discriminatory measure and dismisses the NCAA, the ACC, scores of business executives and others who have condemned the legislation. It was a hateful and self-defeating bill, and it will be McCrory’s legacy.”

The editorial board instead endorsed Attorney General Roy Cooper, citing his support for repealing the law. They chastised McCrory for not listening to the advice the paper previously gave to him, after Republicans racked up wins in the state legislature in 2014.


The editorial board also slammed McCrory for various issues such as abortion, voter caging, his response to a coal ash spill, and cuts to education, and criticized his “lack of leadership” and “wrong-headed policies.” They argued that a Democratic governor would be able to provide a “check” on the Republican-run legislature so that radical bills like HB 2 never become law.

“McCrory has been spineless before Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speakers Thom Tillis and Tim Moore,” the editorial reads. “Cooper would offer more resistance and, if Democrats pick up a handful of House seats, would use his veto to stop the legislature’s most egregious ideas.

“McCrory had a notable career in public service,” the editorial concludes. “But he has climbed the ladder beyond his abilities. It is time for him to come home.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at

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