Metro Weekly

Ex-N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory gets radio show as he considers running in 2020

Chief proponent of anti-LGBTQ HB 2 law has platform from which to mount a gubernatorial campaign

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory – Photo: Hal Goodtree, via Wikimedia.

Don’t be shocked if former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s name appears a ballot in the next few years.

Last week, McCrory, a Republican who was defeated for re-election last year, began hosting a morning segment on Charlotte’s WBT radio. McCrory told The Associated Press in an interview that his contract with the station has him appearing on air most weekdays.

This isn’t McCrory’s first foray into the world of conservative talk radio. Prior to his run for governor, McCrory hosted a Sunday show on WBT during his tenure as mayor of Charlotte, reports NPR affiliate WUNC.

Some may be skeptical of the timing, and the platform that the show gives McCrory, ensuring him a captive audience of listeners in the greater Charlotte metropolitan area and giving him an opportunity to criticize the actions of Gov. Roy Cooper, the man who defeated him by a narrow margin last year.

Such a platform would also allow McCrory to keep himself involved in political discussions and ensure he has enough of a media presence to launch a future bid for office. 

Cooper is up for re-election in 2020. While Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R) is expected to challenge the governor, McCrory could also contend for the GOP nomination that year — something he’s left open as a possibility.

“I’ll consider it down the road,” McCrory said of a possible run for governor. “I think it’s way too early for anybody to make that decision.”

McCrory said he would likely make such a decision after seeing how the 2018 elections shake out.

Chief among the issues that dogged McCrory’s election campaign was his hard-line stance on and advocacy on HB 2, a law restricting LGBTQ rights. McCrory maintains the bill was a necessary step by lawmakers in Raleigh in order to prevent biological males from invading female spaces in Charlotte after city leaders passed a law prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations.

HB 2 restricted North Carolinians to using only facilities matching their biological sex at birth, essentially criminalizing transgender North Carolinians if they chose to use a restroom that did not align with the gender listed on their birth certificate. The law also prevented localities from passing nondiscrimination ordinances that provide protections for LGBTQ people in employment, housing and public accommodations.

HB 2 was so unpopular that it resulted in an economic backlash against the state when various conferences and sporting events were cancelled, and major businesses such as PayPal, CoStar, and Adidas refused to expand operations in the state. State lawmakers eventually signed a “repeal” of the law to save face, but restrictions on transgender restroom use remained permanent, and a ban on pro-LGBTQ ordinances remains in effect until Dec. 1, 2020.

McCrory was mentioned briefly as a possible cabinet member in Donald Trump’s administration, but was never offered a position. He has told the AP he is working on “several different endeavors with several different clients,” but did not disclose any details, ostensibly to protect their privacy. He previously worked as a consultant and a lobbyist after losing his first bid for governor in 2008.

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

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