RALEIGH Political endorsements are starting to roll in for both candidates for North Carolina governor. The incumbent, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, has landed the support of two law enforcement groups, while the challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper, has a handful of endorsements from advocacy groups.The North Carolina Fraternal Order of Police (N.C. FOP), North Carolina Police Benevolent Association and the North Carolina Troopers Association have backed McCrory in the upcoming election. McCrory has also received support from the Associated Builders and Contractors of the Carolinas, a group of 1,800 construction companies in North and South Carolina.Cooper earned endorsements from the AFL-CIO, Equality NC, Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood. Both the North Carolina Association of Educators and the North Carolina League of Conservation Lawyers also support Cooper.One law enforcement group who did back Cooper was the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), a coalition of police unions from across the United States.”NAPO is pleased to support your campaign and is confident you will continue your strong support of North Carolina’s law enforcement community as governor,” the group said in an endorsement letter to Cooper.The Democratic gubernatorial nominee in 2012, Walter Dalton, received the endorsement of the N.C. Fraternal Order of Police for the seat vacated by then-Gov. Bev Purdue. But the N.C. FOP has been at odds with Cooper over the 2015 prosecution of Charlotte police officer Randall Kerrick.Cooper decided against a retrial of Kerrick, who shot and killed 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell in 2013, on a voluntary manslaughter charge after the first prosecution ended in a mistrial. The N.C. FOP reportedly spent $500,000 on Kerrick’s defense and said Cooper decided to prosecute him despite insubstantial evidence. Several members of the N.C. FOP walked out on Cooper when we spoke at the organization’s state convention in Asheville earlier in the month.The N.C. FOP has also endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, but endorsed both Democrats and Republicans in upcoming down ballot races this November.
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