The newly elected Democratic governor of North Carolina is threatening to sue the state’s GOP-controlled legislature following an effort to strip him of certain executive powers.

On Thursday, Roy Cooper, who currently serves as the state’s attorney general, called into question the legality of a Republican-led effort to downsize the governor’s power.

"If I believe these measures are unconstitutional, they will see me in court and they don't have a good track record there," Cooper said at a news conference.

In a special session Wednesday, North Carolina Republicans introduced a slew of measures aimed at reducing Cooper's power before he takes office, The News & Observer reported.


The legislation requires state Senate approval for his Cabinet picks, strips the new governor’s control over election boards and strips his ability to appoint University of North Carolina trustees.

Cooper said Thursday he would be willing to find a compromise if he saw the results as beneficial to North Carolinas — especially on issues of education.

“Most people think this is a partisan power grab,” Cooper said. “But this is really more ominous.”

Republicans have a large majority in both chambers of the state’s legislature. If any measures were passed, outgoing North Carolina Gov. Pat McCory (R) would have to sign them into law.

McCrory conceded earlier this month to Cooper after a tight gubernatorial race. The Republican effort to minimize Cooper’s leadership comes after McCrory’s exhaustive battle fighting election results in several counties.

State Senate President Phil Berger (R) has said he hopes to wrap up debate on the controversial legislation, and to end the special session, by the end of the week.

–Reid Wilson contributed