ACC latest blow for North Carolina governor’s re-election

Published 9:46 am Thursday, September 15, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory frames the debate over North Carolina’s law about transgender people and restrooms as one of common sense and safety and privacy. Yet try as he might, he can’t shake the narrative from the law’s opponents of bigotry and intolerance.

The NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference delivered the latest blows this week, stripping the state of lucrative championships and leaving the Republican with another bruise as he fights for his political life. Entering the final weeks of the nation’s most closely watched governor’s race, McCrory is trying to reset the focus for voters.

“When we were raising the average teacher pay, creating new jobs and cutting taxes, other folks were actually pushing to make our schools allow boys to use the girls’ locker rooms and showers,” McCrory says in a recent television ad. “Are we really talking about this?”

Email newsletter signup

If McCrory wins re-election, it will be in face of some of America’s biggest household names: Apple, Google and Facebook have all come out against the law, while PayPal canceled a planned expansion in McCrory’s hometown of Charlotte because of it. The NBA moved its 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte, and entertainers such as Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and Ringo Starr have canceled shows in North Carolina.

It’s unclear whether the law is actually costing McCrory supporters, but the economic hits keep playing into the hands of Democratic challenger Attorney General Roy Cooper, who wants the law repealed. Polls have shown McCrory even with or trailing Cooper.