Cooper elected to lead Democratic governors’ group

Published 6:54 am Wednesday, December 15, 2021

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has been formally chosen to lead the Democratic Governors Association next year, spearheading efforts to help the party’s nominees win more in a big gubernatorial year ahead.

Cooper, the current vice chair and chair-elect in 2021, was elected chair on Saturday, according to social media posts by the association, which met in New Orleans. He’ll succeed the 2021 chair, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico.

Cooper, who was reelected to a second four-year term governor in 2020, arrives on the job as 36 governorships are on the ballot in 2022. Republicans currently hold the governor’s office in 27 states, with the other 23 held by Democrats.

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Republicans are hopeful that sagging poll numbers for President Joe Biden and positive election results last month — particularly Republican Glenn Youngkin’s victory in the Virginia governor’s race — bode well for them next year.

“We know we have tough races ahead in 2022, but our record of success is clear,” a statement attributed to Cooper and tweeted by the association reads. “We’ve proven we can win anywhere — whether it’s presidential battlegrounds or states (Donald Trump) won by 30 points — and we’re going to prove it again in 2022.”

The association also elected New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy as vice chair and chair-elect for 2022.