NC governors race, several others up in the air

RALEIGH — Tuesday turned into Wednesday, but not much was decided thanks to a historically close election that saw the gubernatorial race and several other Council of State positions up in the air.Incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory trailed his challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper, by less than 4,000 votes with all but two of 2,704 precincts reported — less than one-tenth of a percent difference between the two candidates. McCrory said an official canvass of votes would delay the final result — adding 10 more days to a seemingly never-ending election.That didn’t keep Cooper from declaring victory.”Because of your hard work, we have won this race for governor of North Carolina,” Cooper said just before 1 a.m. Wednesday in Raleigh.Other races down ballot were just as close.The battle to replace Cooper as attorney general was nearly as tight, with Democrat Josh Stein ahead of Republican Buck Newton by just half a percentage point.”It has been a really good campaign,” Newton said. “It is hard to believe almost two years has gone by and we are here at the end though it looks like it is too close to call.”U.S. Sen. Richard Burr did dispatch his challenger, Democrat Deborah Ross, to win a third term, winning more than 51 percent of the vote to about 45 percent for Ross. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest beat opponent Democrat Linda Coleman by a similar margin.But a look further down the ballot saw more close races.Democrat Beth Wood was less than 2,000 votes ahead of Chuck Stuber for the race for N.C. Auditor, while races for Commissioner of Insurance and Superintendent of Public Instruction showed about a 1 percent margin.Republican incumbents Cherie Berry (Commissioner of Labor) and Steve Troxler (Commissioner of Agriculture) scored convincing wins, as did Democratic N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. Republican Dale Folwell topped Dan Blue III for N.C. Treasurer.Republicans also held on to their supermajority in the General Assembly, but Mike Morgan — who was endorsed by President Barack Obama — unseated Republican Justice Bob Edmunds on the North Carolina Supreme Court. Morgan’s win tilts the state’s highest court to the left, giving Democrats four of seven seats.