Gov. Roy Cooper as a presidential candidate? Donors encouraging possible 2024 run, reports say

North Carolina news

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks to reporters during a COVID-19 news conference at the state Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, N.C. on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (Julia Wall/The News & Observer via AP)

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper as a presidential candidate?

Apparently such an idea became a topic of discussion at the recently concluded meeting of the Democratic Governor’s Association, where Cooper took over as chair, based on a report by The New York Times.

The Times cited remarks by Cooper about his accomplishments as a harbinger of possible candidacy in 2024, should President Joe Biden change his mind and decide not to seek re-election, and beyond.

The Times said, “Mr. Cooper already has donors encouraging him to consider a bid, according to Democrats familiar with the conversations.”

The report gained momentum on social media on Monday to the extent that Cooper’s office issued this statement:

“The Governor supports President Biden and is focused on ensuring North Carolina emerges from the pandemic even stronger than before and implementing the President’s plans to create better jobs and support families here in our state.”

Cooper also has said he fully expects Biden to run and is focused on helping implement his policies and to carry North Carolina.

The report included various Democrats who could be candidates should Biden step away from the office. No incumbent president has done that since Lyndon Johnson in 1968.

The Times’ report cited the fact that Cooper is the only Democratic governor to win twice while on the same ballot with former President Donald Trump, who carried North Carolina in both elections.

Cooper, 64, narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Pat McCrory (currently a candidate for U.S. Senate) in 2016 and then beat former Lt. Gov. Dan Forest in 2020.

But there also are only 11 governors elected on the same cycle as the president.

Among those, John Carney of Delaware and Jay Inslee of Washington are the only other current Democratic incumbents. Cooper will have finished his two terms.

Indiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia also will elect governors in 2024, and each has a Republican serving.

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