With the 2014 midterm elections in the history books, it was inevitable: The 2016 gubernatorial race is underway in North Carolina.
Attorney General Roy Cooper – a likely Democratic candidate for governor – sent out an email to supporters Wednesday afternoon pledging “to take on the challenges that North Carolina will face and make sure we live in a place that values a quality education, clean water and air, and good paying jobs.”
At the bottom of the email: A big red “contribute” button. The default donation option on the page is $25 per month for the next 24 months.
“The results at the polls yesterday have strengthened my resolve to make big changes in Raleigh,” Cooper wrote. “We must fight every day to ensure we don’t give up on the North Carolina we know and love.”
Cooper hasn’t officially announced that he’ll run for governor, but he recently told reporters that “it’s too early to make a formal announcement, but I’m concerned about our state and I’m clearly making plans.”
Republicans were eager to start campaigning against him. On Wednesday morning, N.C. Republican Party chairman Claude Pope issued a statement criticizing Cooper. Pope said Cooper should have launched an investigation after undercover filmmaker James O’Keefe released a video in which a woman posing as an illegal immigrant was encouraged to vote by several campaign volunteers outside an early voting site.
“His refusal to investigate these alleged fraudulent activities before Election Day is a silent endorsement of these type of practices,” Pope said of the attorney general. “He remains focused on his own political ambitions, and not the job he was elected to do.”