WASHINGTON ― A Virginia newspaper is endorsing North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) for re-election because his anti-LGBTQ law, HB 2, is driving business out of his state and into Virginia.
“Which candidate would do the most to help our local economy? That’s easy. It’s Pat McCrory, the Republican governor of North Carolina,” reads a Friday editorial in The Roanoke Times.
“North Carolina panicked and made a spectacle of itself by passing HB 2, its so-called ‘bathroom bill.’ In response, various companies and even sports leagues pulled events from the state,” the editorial continues. “Three of those have wound up in Salem ― the NCAA Division III men’s and women’s soccer championships, as well as the Division II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association football championship. That’s money in the bank for us.”
McCrory signed HB 2 into law in March. It bans local governments from passing LGBTQ anti-discrimination policies, and, going further than any other state, it bars transgender people from using public bathrooms that match their gender identity. The national backlash has been brutal, with businesses boycotting the state, sporting events pulling out and entertainers canceling shows.
In all, North Carolina has already lost at least $395 million to HB 2, according to a tally by Wired. That doesn’t include the $250 million and 730 jobs the state lost this week when CoStar Group, a real estate research firm, announced it chose Richmond, Virginia, for a major expansion instead of Charlotte, North Carolina, because of the law.
“Feel free to argue all you want which presidential candidate would be best,” reads Friday’s editorial, “but it’s clear that Virginia would be best served if North Carolina re-elected McCrory.”
McCrory’s spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The governor has signaled he won’t repeal the law, and has taken a hit in the polls over it. He’s up for re-election in November and has been trailing his Democratic challenger, Roy Cooper.