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DGA Statement on Holly Grange Announcement

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Today, Democratic Governors Association Communications Director David Turner released the following statement regarding North Carolina State Representative Holly Grange’s announcement that she is running for governor of North Carolina:
“North Carolina Republicans are deeply divided heading into 2020 and now they will have an extensive primary fight. Both candidates will race to court the far-right. The contest will expose lingering divisions in the party around HB2—which is still deeply unpopular, damaged the state’s reputation, and cost the state thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars. A debate over the discrimination law that backfired on Pat McCrory is the last thing the North Carolina Republican Party needs, and their nightmare has only just begun.
We don’t know where this rancorous primary will lead but know both Grange and Forest support undermining protections for pre-existing conditions and gutting funding for public schools. Whether the GOP nominee is Forest or Grange, we will hold either of them accountable for the out-of-touch positions they take in this primary in 2020.”
BACKGROUND:
The Bathroom Law Backfired on McCrory. According to Washington Post’s The Fix, “Put another way, McCrory is doing worse in his own state than Trump is — and just 34 percent of likely North Carolina voters say they like Trump […] The reason for McCrory’s outlier performance isn’t hard to determine. A majority of likely voters (55 percent) disapprove of the bathroom law, which became a flash point this summer for gay rights supporters, with McCrory quickly cast as the villain by activists — and the business community […] While the other North Carolina Republicans at the top of the ticket are hanging in there, McCrory is at risk of losing reelection. And if he loses, the bathroom bill will be a major reason why.” [Washington Post, 8/24/16]
Forest Supported HB2 in North Carolina And A HB2-style Bill in Texas. According to the News & Observer, “Lt. Gov. Dan Forest appeared at a news conference in Texas on Monday morning to support a bill proposed there that’s similar to the North Carolina law on transgender people’s bathroom access. […] Forest, a Republican, is a backer of the North Carolina law called House Bill 2, which forbids local anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and requires people in government facilities to use bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates.” [News & Observer, 3/6/17]
Grange Voted For S257 Budget allocated $45 million to the controversial voucher program and stipulates that the state will add $10 million more to the program annually. “The budget gives $45 million this year for the controversial voucher program which allows parents to send their children to private schools using taxpayer-funded scholarships. Cooper has strongly criticized the program, saying those schools lack accountability. The budget says the state will add $10 million more to the voucher program annually, until it hits $145 million in the 2027-28 school year. [News & Observer, 8/8/17, S257, Vetoed 6/27/17, Senate Veto Override 6/27/17, House Veto Override 6/28/17]
Vouchers “siphon funds away from the underfunded public school system and sends those tax dollars to private schools without accountability and transparency measures.” “Proponents of school vouchers say that the program enables low-income families to opt out of failing public schools to attend private institutions that offer better educational environments. But critics of the program say that the vouchers siphon funds away from the underfunded public school system and sends those tax dollars to private schools without accountability and transparency measures that ensure students are indeed getting a better education. The Opportunity Scholarships law also fails to ensure that private schools receiving tax dollars do not discriminate against students on the basis of religion or sexual identity.” [WRAL, 1/27/17]