- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 18, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on the televised debate between North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and Democratic rival Roy Cooper (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and Democratic rival Roy Cooper have clashed in a televised campaign debate over a controversial state law that prevents localities from passing broad non-discrimination rules designed to protect LGBT people.

Cooper and McCrory took part in Tuesday evening’s debate in the North Carolina governor’s race, one of the most competitive and expensive in the nation.

At the debate in Raleigh, McCrory blamed Cooper for siding with Charlotte’s mayor when the city passed a non-discrimination ordinance related to gender identity the governor said caused legislators to pass what’s known as House Bill 2. He says he would be willing to compromise and pass a law prohibiting hiring discrimination for gays and lesbians if House Bill 2 opponents agree to back off allowing people to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity.

Cooper said McCrory is to blame for damaging North Carolina’s brand by signing the law, which received national attention.


3:20 a.m.

North Carolina’s Republican governor and his Democratic challenger get one more chance to try to sway voters in one of the nation’s most competitive gubernatorial races.

Gov. Pat McCrory, Attorney General Roy Cooper and Libertarian candidate Lon Cecil are expected to participate in Tuesday evening’s debate in Raleigh just two days before early in-person voting begins.

About $20 million has been spent on broadcast TV ads by McCrory and Cooper and their political allies. They offered sharp criticisms of each other at a televised debate last week.

Cooper holds himself out as the person who will push back Republican policies in state government. McCrory has been traveling eastern North Carolina over the past week leading the state’s response to Hurricane Matthew.

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