Hundreds of impassioned Democrats gathered Saturday night at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel to hear Governor Roy Cooper exhort them to break the Republicans’ veto-proof super-majority in the state legislature.

“We need to pull together like never before to make sure we get this legislature back,” Cooper said at the state party’s annual Western Gala. “The bottom line here is this crowd in power is working as hard as they can to take this state backward, and they’re working fast because they know we’re coming for them.”

The Republicans took control of both houses of the General Assembly in 2010, and then the governor’s office two years later, with the election of Republican Pat McCrory. Cooper defeated McCrory last year in a tight election, but the Republicans maintained their super-majority in the legislature, meaning they can override Cooper’s vetoes at will.

Cooper and other speakers, including state Senators Terry Van Duyn and Brian Turner, both of Buncombe, and Floyd McKissick Jr., of Durham, touted the importance of the 2018 election. It will be key, they said, in breaking the super-majority on the way to reclaiming the majority in 2020, a presidential election year that likely will create higher turnout.

Cooper also warned his fellow Democrats, and North Carolinians in general, to be particularly vigilant next spring. Republicans, Cooper says, are setting the stage to remove control of judgeships at every level from the voting public, handing it to the Republican-controlled legislature instead.

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