- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on the first gubernatorial debate between North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and his challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper (all times local):

1:10 p.m.

Gov. Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper are differentiating themselves in their gubernatorial campaign over a law McCrory signed limiting LGBT anti-discrimination protections in the state.

McCrory told a debate crowd Friday in Charlotte it was right for the state to approve House Bill 2, which requires transgender people to use the bathroom aligned with their biological sex. He said the federal government is overreaching by directing policies that demand transgender people be allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms aligned with their gender identity.

Cooper accused McCrory of blaming everyone but himself for the law he signed in March, which has led to national criticism and some businesses declining to invest in the state. Cooper says the law must be repealed to stop the bleeding and so North Carolina can move forward economically.

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3:50 a.m.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper are meeting in a gubernatorial debate, their first public face-off since the governor signed a law limiting LGBT rights in the state.

Cooper and McCrory are participating in a forum Friday in Charlotte. Their campaign is expected to be among the most expensive nationwide and the best chance for a Democrat to flip a gubernatorial seat held by a Republican.

The law known as House Bill 2 has been condemned by gay-rights groups, corporate executives and entertainers.

Cooper wants the law repealed. McCrory has defended the law, citing privacy protections for people. Provisions directing transgender people to use government and public school restrooms designated for their biological sex is being challenged in court.

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