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Cooper Is Governor But GOP Still In Control

Matt Bush BPR
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper speaks to a worker at the Linamar plant in Arden

During his swing through Western North Carolina this week, Governor Roy Cooper admitted the Republican-controlled General Assembly will continue to notch plenty of political wins against him this year.  But the governor expects that not to last forever.

Republicans hold supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly, allowing them to override any vetoes from Cooper.  They did that this week on a bill making elections for superior and district court judgeships partisan again.  The GOP has also taken several steps to strip power from Cooper’s office, but the governor says the relationship between himself and the General Assembly isn’t irreparable.

“I think you are seeing some agreement on fighting the opioid addiction problem and substance abuse.  I’m going to continue to work to find common ground with them.  I think a number of moderate Republicans will be important in helping us promote renewable energy.”

One reason for Cooper’s sunnier disposition could be this – legislators will be up for election next year.  He won’t.

“I know they have supermajorities, and on these political issues they’re going to succeed.   But I think in 2018 you’ll see new elections and all of the legislators will be up for election.  And it will be done under new maps most likely and hopefully there will be some progress made there.”

The new maps the governor refers to are in response to a court ruling which determined current legislative districts disenfranchise African-American voters.  Democrats see the new maps that will be drawn as a chance to break the Republican supermajorities in Raleigh.