McCrory says 'the election is not over' as Cooper claims victory

Race for N.C. Governor still too close to call

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The race for North Carolina Governor still remains too close to call after Election Day, as Democratic challenger Roy Cooper's campaign claims victory. 

The battle between incumbent Pat McCrory, a Republican, and Democratic challenger Attorney General Roy Cooper remains as close as ever, with over 99-percent of precincts reporting their ballots. Cooper led the incumbent McCrory by 3,728 with 99.93-percent of precincts reporting. 

McCrory spoke to supporters early Wednesday, saying "the election is not over in North Carolina." 

Lon Cecil, a Libertarian, had 2-percent of the vote.

"The earliest date that we'll most likely find out about this election is November 18," said Gov. Pat McCrory. 

The North Carolina Democratic Party claimed victory for Cooper early Wednesday in a statement:

“Tonight Attorney General Roy Cooper emerged as the winner of North Carolina’s gubernatorial election,” said North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Patsy Keever. “The results won’t be finalized tonight, but Cooper enters North Carolina’s canvass process with a strong lead. With provisional ballots, Attorney General Cooper stands poised to grow his lead in a recount and become North Carolina’s next governor.”

As of 11:22 p.m. Tuesday, Durham County had not yet to uploaded roughly 93,000 early voting results, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

By 11:45, the Board of Elections said the early votes from Durham County had been uploaded, which put Cooper slightly ahead of McCrory. 

"We just had a major new vote coming out of Durham, North Carolina in the last 40 minutes," McCrory said. "There's a sudden emergence of over 90,000 votes that were not counted this morning that were counted about 35 minutes ago."

The Cooper campaign says there's another 10,000 ballots still out in Pasquotank County. The Cooper campaign also says provisional ballots are in question. In total, more than 4 million votes were cast in the election.

"It's been a long journey to get to this point, and I know that people waited in long lines to vote and allow their voice to be heard," Cooper told supporters early Wednesday. 

"We're going to make sure that every vote counts in North Carolina," McCrory told his supporters. "To ensure that every vote counts, there's a process called provisional ballots. No one knows how many provisional ballots are out there at this time."

“We are confident that these results will be certified and they will confirm victory," Cooper said.

Megan Jacobs, Cooper's campaign manager, says there may not be an announcement in the Gubernatorial race Tuesday night. 

WRAL contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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