Roy Cooper

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Roy Cooper
48th Attorney General of North Carolina
Assumed office
January 6, 2001
Governor Mike Easley
Bev Perdue
Pat McCrory
Preceded by Mike Easley
Personal details
Born Roy Asberry Cooper III
(1957-06-13) June 13, 1957 (age 58)
Nashville, North Carolina, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kristin Cooper
Children Hilary Cooper, Natalie Cooper, and Claire Cooper
Alma mater University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill

Roy Asberry Cooper III (born June 13, 1957)[1] is a former member of the North Carolina State Senate, and is the current North Carolina Attorney General. His most well known case was the Duke lacrosse case in 2007. He is a member of the North Carolina Democratic Party, and is running for Governor of North Carolina in the 2016 election[2] against incumbent Pat McCrory.

Personal life and education[edit]

Born in Nash County, North Carolina, Cooper was raised in a rural community and worked in tobacco fields during the summer as a teenager. He received the Morehead Scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, serving as the president of the university's Young Democrats, and then also earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from UNC.

Cooper has a wife, Kristin, and three daughters, Hilary, Natalie, and Claire.

State Legislature[edit]

After practicing law with his family's law firm for a number of years, Cooper was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1986 and named to the North Carolina Senate in 1991. In 1997, he was elected Democratic Majority Leader of the state Senate. He continued to practice law as the managing partner of the law firm Fields & Cooper in Rocky Mount and Nashville, North Carolina.

North Carolina Attorney General[edit]


Cooper was elected North Carolina Attorney General in November 2000 and took office on January 6, 2001; he was re-elected for a second term in 2004. Cooper was mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for North Carolina governor in 2008, but he decided to run for re-election as Attorney General instead.[3] He was easily re-elected, garnering more votes than any other statewide candidate in the November 2008 elections.[4] Both state and national Democrats attempted to recruit him to run against Republican Senator Richard Burr in 2010, but he declined.[5] He was speculated as a possible candidate for Governor of North Carolina in 2012 after incumbent Governor Bev Perdue announced her retirement, Cooper declined to run.[6] His political consultant announced in 2011 that Cooper would seek a fourth term in 2012.[7] He was unopposed in both the Democratic primary and the general election.[8] In the November 2012 elections, Cooper received 2,828,941 votes.


In January 2007, when Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong asked to be recused from dealing with the Duke lacrosse case, Attorney General Cooper's office assumed responsibility for the case. On April 11, 2007, Cooper dismissed the case against the Duke lacrosse team players, declaring them "innocent" and victims of a "tragic rush to accuse."

Cooper's third term was highlighted by controversy surrounding the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.[9]

Cooper argued his first case before the United States Supreme Court, J. D. B. v. North Carolina, in 2011.[10][11] The Court ruled 5–4 against North Carolina.[12]

2016 gubernatorial election[edit]

Cooper is running for Governor of North Carolina in the 2016 election.[2] He has strongly criticised Republican Governor Pat McCrory for "tax giveaways for the top 1 percent instead of real tax breaks for working North Carolina families, an end to child-care tax credits, election law changes that made it harder for North Carolinians to vote, overcrowded classrooms for public school teachers and layoffs for teacher assistants."


  1. ^ "Richard D. Hearney - Google Search". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Attorney General Announces Candidacy For Governor". Charlotte Observer. November 6, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ Andrea Weigl. " Cooper says he won't run for governor". Retrieved June 22, 2008. 
  4. ^ "News & Observer: Roy Cooper, N.C.'s most popular Democrat". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ Charlotte Observer: AG Roy Cooper says no to Senate race
  6. ^ WRAL. "Perdue will not seek re-election". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  7. ^ "News & Observer: Holding may seek attorney general's office". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Daily Reflector". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  9. ^ "News & Observer: Cooper replaces SBI director". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Supreme Court site". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  11. ^ "News & Observer: Court questions N.C.'s position on Miranda warning". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  12. ^ "News & Observer: High court rules against NC in juvenile Miranda rights". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Mike Easley
Democratic nominee for Attorney General of North Carolina
2000, 2004, 2008, 2012
Most recent
Legal offices
Preceded by
Mike Easley
Attorney General of North Carolina