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North Carolina governor unwilling to concede in tight race

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North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s campaign criticized his Democratic challenger on Wednesday for claiming victory in the state’s neck-and-neck gubernatorial race, saying tens of thousands of votes had yet to be tallied.

Roy Cooper, the state’s attorney general, declared victory after unofficial election results showed him leading the Republican incumbent by fewer than 5,000 votes in the largest of the 12 U.S. states that elected governors on Tuesday.

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If Cooper’s advantage holds, it would be the only governorship pick-up for Democrats nationally, while Republicans extended their dominance over state executive offices by flipping seats in New Hampshire, Missouri and Vermont.

McCrory’s campaign, however, said the outcome of the North Carolina race will not be known until outstanding absentee, military and provisional ballots are counted, a process expected to extend into next week.

“Claiming an outcome before the process has concluded is irresponsible and disrespectful to the voters of North Carolina whose voices have yet to be heard,” McCrory campaign strategist Chris LaCivita said in a statement.

The campaign and state Republican Party signaled that a legal fight could be ahead, calling into question why some 90,000 early votes in heavily Democratic Durham County were not uploaded until late Tuesday.

LaCivita said Republicans had “grave concerns over potential irregularities” in that county. North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes said dozens of lawyers would be deployed across the state to ensure the validity of every vote cast.

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Democrats said they expected Cooper to maintain his lead.

“Last night, the people of North Carolina chose a new governor with new priorities,” Cooper’s campaign spokesman Ford Porter said.

The race in North Carolina was seen as effectively serving as a referendum on a state law that bans transgender people from using government-run restrooms that correspond with their gender identity and limits protections for gays and lesbians.

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McCrory signed the law, known as House Bill 2, and steadfastly supported its bathroom provision despite the economic backlash against the state after it passed in March.

Cooper called the measure discriminatory and said it should be repealed.

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County elections boards will certify Tuesday’s results on Nov. 18, state election officials said. If the race is decided by 10,000 or fewer votes, a candidate may request a recount.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)


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Dershowitz is running a ‘bizarro defense’ of Trump: Harvard Law colleague says ‘Alan is just completely wacko’

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Two of the most famous names associated with Harvard Law School had competing appearances on MSNBC on Friday.

It began when Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus, was interviewed MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber about his new role officially representing President Donald Trump during the Senate impeachment trial.

Dershowitz claimed that neither abuse of power nor obstruction of Congress count as "high crimes" under the constitution.

Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has also been associated with Harvard Law for five decades, was asked about Dershowitz's argument during an interview with Chris Hayes.

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Why was Lev Parnas wearing a ‘Presidential Service Badge’ awarded to troops who serve in the White House?

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Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman posted a fascinating update about a photo of impeachment figure Lev Parnas.

The photo shows Igor Fruman -- who, like Parnas, is under federal indictment -- sitting closely next to Rudy Giuliani and Parnas.

Haber said a source informed her that in the picture, Parnas can be seen wearing a "Presidential Service Badge," linking to the Wikipedia entry on the pin.

"The Presidential Service Badge (PSB) is an identification badge of the United States Armed Forces which is awarded to members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard as well as other members of the Uniformed Services, such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who serve as full-time military staff to the President of the United States," Wikipedia explained.

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Trump’s big-money Florida fundraiser expected to bring in $10 million — from only 100 people

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President Donald Trump flew to Mar-a-Lago on Friday after receiving a formal summons from the U.S. Senate informing him of his impeachment trial.

The president will be attending a Friday evening campaign fundraiser.

The recipient of the money is Trump Victory, which is a joint fundraising committee set up by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and the Republican National Committee.

“Tonight’s Trump Victory fundraiser is expected to raise $10 million with approximately 100 people in attendance," the campaign told the White House pool reporter.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1218264289225728000

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