Disney Villain/North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory Finally Admits He Lost The Election

Governor Pat McCrory, the man behind North Carolina’s now infamous and wildly unpopular HB2 bill, has finally admitted he lost the 2016 election. This after parading around for the last month making unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud throughout his state. It is a huge victory for democracy, for Democrats, for people of color, and for LGBT folks — McCrory never met a minority group he wasn’t happy to scapegoat.

McCrory’s support of HB2, which made it illegal for trans people to use public facilities that correspond with their gender identity and stripped LGBT people of anti-discrimination protection, is ultimately what cost him the election. The bill passed in March and the backlash has been swift and catastrophic. Companies like Paypal and Deutsche Bank halted planned expansions into the state. Dozens of major cities and states banned all non-essential business travel into North Carolina. The Justice Department has sued McCrory and various public institutions for violating Title IX by implementing HB2. It’s estimated that McCrory’s refusal to stand down on HB2 cost his state thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in tourism and investment capital, just in 2016.

So, that’s that. Guy’s a bigot, guy gets kicked out of office. Maybe it’ll even put a tourniquet on these free-bleeding post-election hot takes that continue to insist “identity politics” are what cost Hillary Clinton the presidential election. But even if that conversation calms down, Donald Trump is still going to be president and we’re in for the civil rights fights of our lives. A lot of what’s coming is going to take place in individual state legislatures, as Elizabeth Warren reminded the audience today at the State Innovation Exchange Conference.

Even North Carolina isn’t in the clear. As Slate points out, McCrory could still pack the courts with anti-equality judges in the legislative special session playing out right now.

Luckily the internet exists and we can use it to organize and empower our activism.

The ACLU is tracking anti-LGBT bills across the country and updating their status every Wednesday. Most state won’t begin new legislative sessions until January 2017. There aren’t any anti-LGBT bills hanging around in committee at the moment; however, we can expect to see an unprecedented number of anti-LGBT bills in the coming year as anti-equality lobbying groups and anti-equality legislators find themselves emboldened by Trump’s presidency. All of his cabinet picks so far are vehemently anti-LGBT, after all. And remember Nom? The National Organization For Marriage? Yeah, they’re back with a four-point plan.

GLAAD has also launched a tracking system called the Trump Accountability Project, which will catalog the administration’s anti-LGBT actions and statements in the hopes of empowering journalists.

We’re in a holding pattern right now, expecting the worst — but Pat McRory’s defeat is a big victory and reminder that Trump’s electoral college win doesn’t signal the end of the war. Hillary’s lead in the popular vote is over two million; companies and Democratic-led city/state governments will make states that pass anti-LGBT laws pay; and minority voices matter. No one is more responsible for McCrory’s defeat than NAACP and Moral Monday leader Rev. Dr. Barber, who has stymied McCrory at every turn through classic grassroots activism.

This is a a good win, and an admonishment to keep fighting.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. Awesome and overdue news!

    The only thing that scares me is this now leaves him open to be appointed to a federal/cabinet position by Trump….

  2. Thank you for the good news!!!! I don’t think we need to be in holding pattern right now – strengthening connections with & among PoC-led queer activism and indigenous activists, making more room in our days for even small actions like making calls, getting our tech secure (thanks Ali!), talking with people, making art, building habits to keep our spirits up, keeping people who might drift alert-caring-empowered . . . so much to do!

  3. God, this year has made from being from NC so hard and I am so goddamn glad to see McCrory go, especially after being such a poopy diaper about losing. It’s worth noting that even Republicans started turning on him really hard, his own State Board of Election appointees even refusing his demands for a recount. He pretty much embarrassed himself in front of his governmental colleagues by insisting that his own people didn’t do their job correctly just because he didn’t like the outcome, and now the state Republicans are letting him go down in flames all by himself. I suspect he has burned all of his political capital on this race, making the possibility of his court packing less likely. The real irony is that if he *had* gracefully conceded early on, he could have done all that nefarious stuff like sign off on more bad legislation or pack the courts or even gut an entire segment of the NC government if he felt like it because he could’ve gotten his colleagues to rally around him. Having a month-long hissy fit over the election has undermined him across the state, including in places where people voted for him.

    The big hurdle will be Roy Cooper trying to work with a Republican-dominated General Assembly, although it may be a little less dominated if the gerrymandered map of the state is finally invalidated.

    • My friends and I were all excited here in Winston Salem. But we are well aware there is still a lot of work to do.

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