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Cooper's Lead Grows In Governor's Race / Looming Education Changes



An update on the still-unresolved race for North Carolina governor. Votes are being challenged and there's a call for a recount. Then, what's ahead for education with a newly-elected North Carolina schools chief and the search for a new Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent.


Mike talks with Roy Cooper campaign strategist Morgan Jackson, followed by The Charlotte Observer's Jim Morrill, The News and Observer's Colin Campbell and Catawba College political scientist Dr. Michael Bitzer. The Pat McCrory campaign did not reply to a request to join the program.

It's been three weeks since the polls closed in North Carolina, and the outcome of the race for governor is still up in the air. Pat McCrory has lagged Roy Cooper by several thousand votes since late on election night. Since then, McCrory, the Republican incumbent, has called for a statewide recount of votes and has questioned the validity of the results, particularly in Durham County. Over the weekend, the McCrory campaign offered to withdraw its recount request if elections officials in Durham recounted their ballots.

McCrory and Republican groups have challenged votes in dozens of counties, including Mecklenburg, but have been rebuffed by GOP-controlled boards of election. What's more, the number of votes being challenged isn't enough for McCrory to overtake Cooper in the statewide vote tally.

Cooper, meanwhile, is already measuring for curtains at the governor's mansion. The Democratic challenger declared victory on election night and has established a transition team to work on a January inauguration.

We trace the meandering road through state and local elections boards to find out when a winner could be declared.


Jim Morrill, political reporter, The Charlotte Observer

Colin Campbell, state government and politics reporter, The News and Observer

Dr. Michael Bitzer, professor of political science, provost; Catawba College;


WFAE assistant news director Lisa Worf and The Charlotte Observer's Ann Doss Helms discuss the election of a new North Carolina schools chief, the search for a new Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent, and other education news.

One race that HAS been called is that of North Carolina's superintendent of public instruction. Mark Johnson, a former Teach for America teacher at West Charlotte High School, unseated longtime education chief June Atkinson. Johnson, a Republican, campaigned on shaking up the status quo in public education. Meanwhile, the search for a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent moved behind closed doors this month in a series of private interviews with candidates for the position. And the much-ballyhooed Project L.I.F.T. has released a new report with mixed-results. We get an update on the education beat from two reporters.


Ann Doss HelmsThe Charlotte Observer

Lisa Worf, assistant news director, WFAE