RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WNCN) — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has received the endorsement of the state’s largest law enforcement lobbying group.
McCrory made a rare public campaign appearance Thursday in Raleigh to accept the backing of the 10,000-member North Carolina Police Benevolent Association.
“I am extremely humbled to receive the endorsement of the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association,” McCrory said.
Association leaders made the decision after interviewing McCrory and rival Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper.
“Gov. McCrory has a very sincere interest in bringing folks together to address the problems in law enforcement. The governor is willing to sit down. He’s willing to bring the stakeholders to the table,” said Randy Byrd, president of the Benevolent Association.
The governor usually holds public events organized by his state government office.
The endorsement event comes as polls have shown Cooper has a lead over McCrory in the gubernatorial race.
“We have 75 days left until the election. That’s a lot of time. I’m not worried about them (the polls). I don’t think it really changes the name of the game and the name of the game is making sure that the people of North Carolina know the truth,” said Kami Mueller, NCGOP communications director.
McCrory didn’t take question at the news conference.
The Republican incumbent also has received endorsements from the North Carolina Fraternal Order of Police and the North Carolina Troopers Association. Cooper has been endorsed by the National Association of Police Organizations and a state group representing firefighters and paramedics.
“What we tell our members is, ‘hey, these are the candidates for the small, the very narrow basket of issues that we’re looking at. This is what this candidate in our opinion would benefit you more than the other,'” said Tom Brewer, president of the Professional Firefighters and Paramedics of North Carolina.
That group said what stood out about Cooper is his plan for workers comp and for protecting their retirement benefits.
Thursday, McCrory released a new ad featuring trooper Michael Potts, who survived being shot during a Durham traffic stop in 2013.