NC governor says ‘let the process work’ as Tillis declares victory in close Senate race
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) called on state residents to wait until all votes are counted on Tuesday while Sen. Thom Tillis (R) declared victory in his hard-fought reelection bid.
Cooper won his own reelection on Tuesday but the Senate race is still too close to call, as is the race between President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“I know that there are still a lot of important races that are too close to call and we must let the process work to be sure that all the legal votes are counted,” Cooper said at the North Carolina Democratic Party Headquarters in Raleigh on Tuesday night.
He added, “The state board of elections has run things with the utmost integrity during a global pandemic and tough races and I believe that they will continue to do so.”
Tillis meanwhile spoke to supporters at his election night event in in Mooresville, saying he is waiting for Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham to concede but decided to go ahead with a victory speech. Cunningham has not conceded.
“I’m sorry it took so much time, we were holding up a little bit to hear from my opponent,” he said.
Tillis is leading in the race with over 48.7 percent and Cunningham has over 46.9 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reported.
“We did it against all the odds, right? We heard this before, you’re down in the polls, there’s no chance of winning,” Tillis said. “We’re letting everybody know that the truth still does matter. Letting everybody know that character still matters. Letting everybody know that keeping your promises still matters.”
Thank you for this historic victory, North Carolina!
— Thom Tillis (@ThomTillis) November 4, 2020
The Cunningham campaign did not provide a comment on Tuesday and did not speak at the North Carolina Democratic Party Headquarters after Cooper, although he was originally expected to do so.
Cunningham kept a relatively low profile leading up to Election Day following revelations that he exchanged sexual text messages with a woman who is not his wife.
Election results were delayed by about an hour on Tuesday after the North Carolina State Board of Elections extended hours at several polling locations in the state due to early delays from technical issues.
Trump is also slightly ahead in North Carolina with just under 50 percent. Biden has nearly 48.6 percent.
The Tillis-Cunningham race is the most expensive Senate race in history. Cunningham raised nearly $46.8 million and Tillis raised nearly $21.5 million, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
Cunningham spent about $45.9 million while Tillis spent about $18.4 million and left nearly $3.5 million in cash on hand.
The race is crucial for Republicans to hold control of the Senate, while Democrats need a net gain of three states and a Biden victory to win the Senate majority.
The Senate Leadership Fund, a top GOP super PAC with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), spent more than $35.5 million on TV and radio ads in battleground states between Oct. 27 and Tuesday.
North Carolina topped the list in both TV and radio ad reservations. The group spent more than $4 million on TV and radio ads in the final week in the Tar Heel State.