mccrory cooper third debate
Candidates for governor of North Carolina Lon Cecil (L), left, Roy Cooper (D), center, and Gov. Pat McCrory (R) debate at WRAL studios in Raleigh NC on Oct. 18, 2016. Chris Seward Via The Charlotte Observer.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory, Attorney General Roy Cooper and Libertarian candidate Lon Cecil faced off on Tuesday for the third and final debate in the North Carolina gubernatorial race.

The three candidates took on a host of issues, including taxes, abortion, coal ash ponds, hurricane relief and anti-LGBTQ law HB2, which McCrory signed into law and which has cost the state millions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

McCrory once again blamed Charlotte and “the left,” as well as the Human Rights Campaign for pushing the issue forward. McCrory stated that he was for anti-discrimination laws at the federal level but once again said he believes allowing transgender individuals to use the facilities matching their gender identity goes too far.

He said that school systems and prisons should “segregated and separated those individuals and made special arrangements.”

McCrory said that if the ordinance had not included transgender accommodations protections, “I don’t think we would have had any problems because I don’t believe in any type of discrimination.”

Cooper criticized McCrory for allowing the North Carolina General Assembly to designate $500,000 from the disaster relief fund for legal fees defending HB2. McCrory let the bill go through without his signature. A Republican lawmaker said McCrory requested the move, which he denies.

Watch their exchange on HB2 below.

YouTube video

Watch the full debate below.

YouTube video

Jeff Taylor is a journalist and artist. In addition to QNotes, his work has appeared in publications such The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing Charlotte, Inside Lacrosse, and McSweeney’s Internet...