• 43°

Forest abandons lawsuit challenging Cooper executive orders

By BRYAN ANDERSON

Associated Press/Report for America

RALEIGH (AP) — North Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest ended a testy legal battle with campaign rival and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday after a judge recently rejected Forest’s demand to block Cooper from shuttering businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Forest sued the governor last month, seeking to prevent Cooper from unilaterally issuing executive orders limiting business activities and mass gatherings without the approval of a 10-member state body. The Council of State includes Cooper, Forest, Attorney General Josh Stein and several other statewide elected officials. Cooper argued he had sufficient emergency authority to take executive action in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Judge Jim Gale ruled on Tuesday that Forest didn’t prove he was likely to win arguments that Cooper has exceeded his emergency authority or that the law is unconstitutional. The lieutenant governor informed the court on Wednesday he was dismissing his lawsuit.

“I did my part,” Forest wrote on Twitter shortly after the judge’s decision. “If y’all want your freedoms back you’ll have to make your voices heard in November.”

Liz Doherty, a spokeswoman for Cooper’s campaign, called Forest’s lawsuit “reckless” and said in a statement that it would have hurt public safety.

“While Dan Forest makes reckless decisions that endanger North Carolinians in an effort to prop up his campaign, Governor Cooper will continue to do what is right for their health and safety,” Doherty said.

Public opinion polls have consistently shown Cooper with a double-digit lead over Forest and a stronger chance of victory than other prominent Democrats in key races, such as Senate challenger Cal Cunningham and presidential hopeful Joe Biden.

A July NBC News/Marist poll of 882 registered North Carolina voters found Cooper leading Forest by 20 percentage points, while Cunningham led Republican Sen. Thom Tillis by 9 points and Biden led President Donald Trump by 7 points. The poll reported a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

___

Follow Anderson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BryanRAnderson.

___
Anderson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Comments

Elections

Republicans on defense in state congressional races

Coronavirus

As officials face second wave of COVID-19, some resisting steps to curb virus

Business

Biz Roundup: Spalding wins state Executive of the Year award for work as Chamber president

Coronavirus

State health officials ease shutdown for church that had 181 COVID-19 cases

News

South Carolina tribe presents casino plan for Kings Mountain

News

Rockingham County ordered to reopen voting site

Racing

Michael Jordan’s NASCAR team partners with Joe Gibbs, Toyota

News

Zeta-caused landslide creates 90-mile detour in Mitchell, McDowell counties

BREAKING NEWS

Rowan County banking icon and community catalyst Paul Fisher dies

Coronavirus

State reports 20 COVID-19 cases at Rockwell Christian School, outbreak at Brightmoor Nursing Center

China Grove

Southern Rowan Christmas Parade to go on with COVID-19 safety measures in place

Local

Cress named Rowan County Emergency Services chief

Crime

Blotter: Two vehicles stolen after being left running

Nation/World

Six dead as Zeta soaks Gulf Coast and Southeast

Elections

Black Lives Matter signs will remain up at Carrboro polling site

Nation/World

Hackers snag $2.3 million from Wisconsin Republican Party

China Grove

In Senate race, Ford doubles cash on hand; Townsend spends $10,000 in House campaign

Elections

Two who attended rally for Trump in Gastonia test positive for COVID-19

Elections

Storm hinders Tillis events; Cunningham campaign activities remain quiet

Local

Trump-supporting organization to have downtown ‘Trump Train Parade’

Local

Spencer planning Christmas festivities for Dec. 12

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man charged with removing electronic ankle monitor

Coronavirus

County’s rate of tests returning positive continues to decrease, still above 7%

BREAKING NEWS

UPDATED: Three charged in connection with drive-by shooting, vehicle pursuit