- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on Republican incumbent Pat McCrory conceding to Democrat Roy Cooper in their close race for North Carolina governor (all times local):

8:25 p.m.

Pending litigation challenging North Carolina’s process to ensure people who use same-day registration to vote are whom they claim to be are no longer could delay final election results this fall.

A federal judge late Monday granted a request by lawyers for the head of a conservative-leaning group to withdraw his bid to prevent the certification of statewide results until the voter verification was complete. A hearing on blocking the certification had been set for Thursday.

Attorneys for the Civitas Institute president wrote that State Board of Elections rulings involving election protests and recounts have changed the necessity for blocking the certification.

The withdrawal request was filed the same day Republican Gov. Pat McCrory conceded his close race to Democrat Roy Cooper.

The lawyers say the Civitas Institute president still wants to pursue the underlying litigation challenging the same-day registration process of verifying the addresses of new voters.

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2:35 p.m.

Gay rights groups that made the defeat of North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory this year a top priority because of a law limiting LGBT rights that he signed are celebrating after his concession to Democrat Roy Cooper.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said Monday that McCrory’s “reign of discrimination is finally over” after McCrory announced publicly it appeared Cooper won.

The law known as House Bill 2 prevented local nondiscrimination ordinances designed to protect LGBT people. The law also tells transgender people to use restrooms in schools and government buildings that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate.

Cooper says he wants the law repealed. Republicans who approved to still control the legislature.

Tami Fitzgerald with the North Carolina Values Coalition supported the law and McCrory. Fitzgerald says McCrory’s defeat “was orchestrated by radical forces outside North Carolina” and warned Cooper against any attempt to “compromise the privacy and safety of our children.”

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1 p.m.

Democrat Roy Cooper has responded to North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s concession in their close race by praising the Republican for his service to the state.

Cooper said in a Facebook post Monday that he’s honored to receive the support of so many in this fall’s election and believes “there is more that unites us than divides us” despite the contentious election season.

McCrory conceded earlier Monday as a partial recount of ballots in Durham County saw essentially no changes in their tallies. The State Board of Election has ordered the recount in heavily-Democratic Durham after technical troubles on election night led to a formal protest there.

Unofficial results show the outgoing attorney general ahead of McCrory by more than 10,000 votes of 4.7 million cast. The state board is likely to certify the result later this week.

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12:10 p.m.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has conceded the governor’s race, clearing the way for Democrat Roy Cooper to be declared the winner.

The concession nearly four weeks after Election Day comes after appeals dried up and postelection counts saw Cooper’s narrow lead increasing.

McCrory announced Monday in a video posted on YouTube that he is giving up four years after he won the office by a comfortable margin. This time around McCrory was weighed down by a law he signed limiting LGBT rights and was unable to generate the same voter support that lifted Republicans Donald Trump and Richard Burr to victory in the state.

Cooper’s win marks an important consolation prize for national Democrats after a disappointing election. Cooper is the outgoing attorney general.

McCrory’s defeat marks the first time a sitting North Carolina governor elected to a four-year term has lost a re-election bid.

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11:05 a.m.

The recount of ballots in a North Carolina county has resumed and could soon bring a conclusion to the undecided race for governor.

Paid volunteers resumed their work Monday at the Durham County elections board office to carry out an order to recount more than 90,000 ballots cast during early voting and on Election Day. By midmorning, only 10,000 ballots still had to be run through tabulation machines.

Partial Durham recount returns through Sunday showed little change in tallies for Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and Democratic challenger Roy Cooper. Unofficial statewide results have Cooper leading McCrory by about 10,250 votes. Representatives of McCrory and Cooper’s campaign team are observing the Durham count.

McCrory has said he won’t ask for a statewide recount if the Durham recount shows the same results.

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3 a.m.

The undecided election for North Carolina governor could reach a conclusion Monday as a recount of thousands of votes wraps up.

Democrat Roy Cooper currently leads Republican incumbent Pat McCrory by about 10,250 votes. McCrory, who could not capitalize on the wave of support that delivered statewide victories for Republicans Donald Trump and Sen. Richard Burr, can demand a statewide recount if the margin is 10,000 or less.

A review of more than 94,000 votes cast in heavily Democratic Durham County during the early-voting period and on election day is expected to finish Monday. McCrory has said he won’t ask for a statewide recount if that recount shows the same results.

Most other protests filed by McCrory’s Republican allies have already been tossed out.

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