Bio: the Governor of North Carolina

In the 2016 election, Democrat Roy Cooper won the seat of North Carolina governor in an extremely close race — 49.0 percent to 48.8 percent. His campaign ousted incumbent Pat McCrory, Republican.

Gov. Cooper grew up in Nash County, North Carolina, on his family’s tobacco farm. There, his father was a small-town lawyer and his mother was a school teacher.

The young Cooper earned his Bachelor’s and his law degree from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and returned to his hometown, initially planning to be a local lawyer like his father. Instead, he was encouraged to run for the state House of Representatives, upsetting an 11-term incumbent. In the House and — later — in the State Senate, Cooper pushed to lower taxes for the middle class and raise teacher salaries.

From North Carolina’s General Assembly, Cooper then campaigned for Attorney General, a post to which he was re-elected three times after the initial 2001 win.

In the 2016 election, he finally made the push for governor and pulled off the narrow victory.

The major issue of the election was incumbent Pat McCrory’s H.B. 2, also infamously known as the “bathroom bill.” The bill, overruling local laws allowing transgender people to choose whether to use the ladies or men’s room, invited far-reaching condemnation for North Carolina.

Cooper campaigned to repeal the bill. However, so far he has only been able to sign a compromise which — though it repeals the original H.B. 2 — is far more in the Republicans’ favor.

The latest controversy that Gov. Cooper has stepped into is the debate on Confederate memorials. In a post on his Medium blog, Gov. Cooper proposes that the state government relocate any memorials to museums and other places “where they can be studied in context.”

“Our Civil War history is important,” he wrote, “but it belongs in textbooks and museums — not a place of allegiance on our Capitol grounds.”

Gov. Cooper is married and has three daughters. He is active in his church, having taken on the roles of elder, deacon, and Sunday School teacher. According to his daughters, he loves Steinfeld, Star Trek, and cereal.


New York Times

Official bio at

Washington Post

WCNC local news

Official campaign blog

The News & Observer

Official Medium blog

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