2020 North Carolina Governor Candidate Guide

Roy Cooper - Democrat (Incumbent)
Roy Cooper - Democrat (Incumbent)
Dan Forest - Rupublican
Dan Forest - Rupublican

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AFFORDABLE CARE ACT –  Support Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare? Support expansion of Medicaid to more low-income citizens?

Roy Cooper – Yes. Repealing the ACA “may be even worse than previous proposals.” Supports Medicaid expansion: “Should be one of the easiest decisions a policymaker can make.”

Dan Forest – No. Opposes the expansion of Medicaid. “The government’s just not best suited for these kinds of delivery mechanisms. … They need to be in private hands.”

CAMPAIGN FINANCE – Campaigns must disclose large funders?

Roy Cooper – Yes. Vetoed a bill that made it harder to prosecute campaign finance violations.

Dan Forest – No position found, but in 2017 a super-PAC backing him as lieutenant governor received  a $1 million donation from a single donor.

CLIMATE CHANGE – Consider human-caused climate change a serious threat?

Roy Cooper – Yes. Climate change “makes storms larger and more powerful and intensifies heavy rainfalls and droughts. North Carolinians, unfortunately, know this the hard way.”

Dan Forest – No. Climate change is “the religion of the left,” along with Black Lives Matter, Me Too and gun control.

CLIMATE CHANGE – Address as a top priority by taxing or limiting output of greenhouse gases?

Roy Cooper – Yes. Wants tax credits for electric cars and to reduce emissions from electric power generation to 70% of 2005 levels by 2030.

Dan Forest – No. Lower state gas tax, expand gas and oil extraction onshore and offshore. State “should strive to be energy independent.”

COURT – Support Brett Kavanaugh nomination?

Roy Cooper – No position found.

Dan Forest – Yes. Kavanaugh knows “the Constitution is not a living, breathing document.”

COVID-19 – Tighten or loosen restrictions to control pandemic?

Roy Cooper – Tighten. Has been cautious in lifting restrictions. Implemented program to provide financial help to those told to isolate. Local school districts choose mix of online and in-person, with restrictions, or all online.

Dan Forest – Loosen. Fewer restrictions. Initially sued Cooper over restrictions.  Allow “counties with no virus at all” … “to still flourish.” Opposes restrictions like required mask wearing and staggered schedules for schools.

EDUCATION – Use public funding for private and/or for-profit schools?

Roy Cooper – No. Opposes “vouchers because of the lack of accountability. … Instead, we need to invest in our public schools.”

Dan Forest – Yes. Increase public funding for charter schools. Expand vouchers to pay for private schools, “giving more choices to parents.

ENVIRONMENT – Tighten or loosen environmental regulations?

Roy Cooper – Tighten. “We’ve ordered Duke Energy to dig up remaining coal ash ponds in North Carolina.” Forced TVA to clean up emissions.

Dan Forest – Loosen. Asked Trump EPA to eliminate Obama clean water rules.  “There is a place for good regulatory policy … but I also believe in innovation over regulation.”

FINANCIAL REGULATION – Tighten or loosen regulation of banks and credit card companies?

Roy Cooper – Tighten. Pushed to pass first U.S. anti-predatory lending law and financial fraud protections.

Dan Forest – Loosen. “Having fewer regulations fosters a spirit of innovation in our state.”

GUN LAWS – Enact more restrictive legislation on guns, such as more background checks, or “red flag” laws prohibiting ownership by individuals who are a danger to themselves or others?

Roy Cooper – Yes. Signed executive directive strengthening background checks. Pushed for legislation on gun safety and red flax protection orders.

Dan Forest – No. Supports Second Amendment sanctuaries exempt from gun laws. “Yet to see a ‘red flag’ bill that adequately protects the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.”

IMMIGRATION – Create path to citizenship for DACA residents brought to U.S. as children?

Roy Cooper – Yes. Signed letter with 10 other governors to the leaders of the U.S. House and Senate, urging extension of DACA program.

Dan Forest – No position found.

IMMIGRATION – Support tighter immigration restrictions?

Roy Cooper – No. Vetoed bill requiring sheriffs to cooperate with ICE. Would hurt ability of local law enforcement “to protect their counties.”

Dan Forest – Yes. Local sheriffs should be cooperating with federal agencies like ICE “to keep violent, illegal criminals from being arbitrarily released back into our communities.”

LEGAL ABORTION – Keep legal or ban?

Roy Cooper – Legal. Vetoed bill imposing prison time on doctors who don’t revive a fetus that survives an abortion. It would “criminalize” them for “a practice that simply does not exist.”

Dan Forest – Ban. Is running as a “pro-life leader.” “I firmly believe that the day is going to come in America where we’re going to look back on abortion … just like slavery.”

LGBT RIGHTS – Support LGBTQ rights, including same-sex marriage and protection from discrimination on sexual preference?

Roy Cooper – Yes. Supports marriage equality. Opposed bill invalidating same-sex marriage. Signed order prohibiting discrimination for “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.”

Dan Forest – No. Accepts same-sex marriage as “law of the land.” But a child raised by “a mother and a father” has “greater potential in life.” Nothing found on discrimination protection.

LGBT RIGHTS – Support HB2, bill requiring transgender people to use bathroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate?

Roy Cooper – No. Opposed, called it a “dark cloud.” Signed compromise repeal.

Dan Forest – Yes. Opposed repeal of bill: Called pressure from NCAA “a new form of corporate extortion from an unaccountable, out-of-state, non-elected, tax-exempt organization.”

MINIMUM WAGE – Raise federal hourly minimum wage above current $7.25?

Roy Cooper – Yes. Will “work with the General Assembly to see how high we can get it. $15 is an admirable goal.”

Dan Forest – No recent position found. In 2012 called minimum wage laws “an unfair intrusion into the labor market” that “hurt the employment opportunities for unskilled labor.”

PLANNED PARENTHOOD – Can Planned Parenthood receive public funds for non-abortion-related care?

Roy Cooper – Yes. Signed letter with other governors opposing administration efforts “to gut women’s access to family planning services.”

Dan Forest – No. “Planned Parenthood was created … to destroy the entire black race.” Has said the state should not fund the organization.

POLICE/COMMUNITY ISSUES – Restrict police use of force and increase public oversight?

Roy Cooper – Yes. Created task force on racial equity in criminal justice and a new center to track statistics and “improve training related to the use of force.”

Dan Forest – No. “I will always DEFEND the police.” “Our police officers need to be able to do their jobs.”

TAXES – Support increase in state taxes?

Roy Cooper – Preserve tax base. “When business has a choice between further cuts in corporate taxes or investments in our teachers, I hope you will say investments in our teachers.”

Dan Forest – No. Signed the “Tax Protection Pledge” pledging to oppose and veto any and all efforts to pass a net tax hike.

VOTING RULES – Support stricter ID requirements and other rules on voting?

Roy Cooper – No. Voter ID “is a solution for no problem.” Vetoed bill that would set “barriers to voting that will trap honest voters.”

Dan Forest – Yes. “The only reason to oppose photo voter ID is if you intend to commit fraud at the ballot box.”

Campus Election Engagement Project is a nonpartisan effort to help colleges engage students in elections. Sources include Votesmart.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com and candidate statements. Vote411.org and Ballotready.org offer guides to local races.