Pat McCrory lost the run for governor. What are his chances for the United States Senate? (Photo Credit: James Willamor via Flickr)

With a slogan that exemplifies many of the things that previously distanced voters from him, Pat McCrory announced his bid for U.S. Senate on this platform: “Conservative Leadership Built in North Carolina, Not Washington.” The former Mayor of Charlotte and North Carolina governor is reaching out to Republican voters, claiming their support will allow his campaign to flourish.

“I’m in. I’m in. I’m going to run for the U.S. Senate because I’m simply the best for the job,” McCrory said during his WBT morning radio program. “Of all the candidates considering [a] run for the US Senate, Republicans and Democrats, I’m the best for the job and if I wasn’t I wouldn’t run.”

After decades in the political sphere, serving as mayor of Charlotte for multiple terms, governor of North Carolina only one term (losing his bid at a second term to current Gov. Roy Cooper), he took a shot at an on-air career, hosting on the conservative talk station WBT with “The Pat McCrory Show With Bo Thompson.” He is leaving the show to mount the campaign.        

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Alfonso David responded to McCrory’s announcement: “Unremorseful, he’s now attempting to revitalize his political career by running for office yet again. We are confident that North Carolina voters, who made it abundantly clear in 2016 that they stand with the LGBTQ community and against discrimination, will do so again in 2022 should McCrory’s name be on the ballot.” David also reminded voters that after the election for governor in 2016, McCrory was quick to blame purported “noncitizens” voting against him for his loss.

There’s some irony to be found in his effort to copy a page out of the Trump supporter’s handbook. Following his loss for a second term in the governor’s office, McCrory paid a visit to the White House for a meeting with Donald Trump.

The general assumption was that McCrory had hoped for some sort of cabinet appointment, apparently hoping his attempt at placing blame for loss and challenges on undocumented immigrants and his efforts with the anti-LGBTQ House Bill 2 (see below) would curry favor. McCrory left Washington with nothing to show for his visit except a big dose of humiliation following an encounter with angry protesters who chased him down an alleyway shouting “Shame on you!”

During his career as Charlotte mayor, McCrory attempted to shut down the annual Charlotte Pride celebration (local government advisors quickly informed McCrory that was not legally possible) and refused to sign a proclamation of welcome for the regional HRC Dinner (citing HRC’s “radical agenda” and indicating he would not endorse it, despite his tradition of routinely issuing proclamations of welcome to visiting conventions). He also declared the west and east sides of Charlotte “corridors of trash” (both were heavily populated by the Latin and African-American communities).

As governor he was adamant about his opposition to a woman’s right to choose; required drug testing for those applying for welfare; and signed House Bill 2.

The anti-choice bill (House Bill 465) created restrictions that would make it so abortion clinics could not employ anyone under 18, require women to wait 72 hours before consenting to an abortion and would only allow board certified gynecologists or obstetricians to perform abortions.

HB2 was a law that left North Carolina in a nationally humiliated heap and prompted conventions to cancel and companies to scrub plans to move headquarters to the state. The bill regulated bathroom rights for transgender individuals and took away all municipal protections against discrimination for the LGBTQ community.

McCrory tweeted about his latest effort on April 14: “For the last few years, I’ve sat on the sidelines and watched people like Chuck Schumer and the far-left drag this country toward radical liberal policies. I can’t sit on the sidelines anymore.”

While McCrory seems enthusiastic, politicians on the other side aren’t so convinced of an impending victory.

“Pat McCrory is a desperate loser and career politician who was voted out of office after he … cost the state thousands of jobs … [and] embarrassed North Carolina on the national stage,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesperson Stuart Boss in a recently released statement. “He couldn’t even get hired by the Trump administration.”

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