|Attorney General of North Carolina|
|Years in position||14|
|Predecessor||Michael Easley (D)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|First elected||November 7, 2000|
|Next general||November 8. 2016|
|North Carolina State Senate|
|North Carolina House of Representatives|
|Bachelor's||University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (1979)|
|J.D.||University of North Carolina School of Law (1982)|
|Date of birth||June 13, 1957|
|Place of birth||Nash County, North Carolina|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Political career
- 3 Elections
- 4 Campaign donors
- 5 Recent news
- 6 Personal
- 7 Contact Information
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
Among his initiatives since taking office, Cooper has increased DNA testing of crime scene evidence, pushed for tougher sentences for child predators and pornographers, and mandated sex offenders report where they live.
In 2013, Cooper voiced his opposition to proposed legislation to require voters to show ID. Cooper wrote to Gov. Pat McCrory (R), asking him to veto the law which he said would just make it harder to citizens to vote. Cooper also said he expected the law to be challenged in court.
Cooper was born and raised in North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his undergraduate education, earning two Bachelor's degrees, in psychology and political science. Immediately following graduation in 1979, Cooper entered law school at the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Prior to receiving his law degree, Cooper was appointed by then-Governor Jim Hunt to the state Goals and Policy Board in 1980. Upon graduating from UNC School of Law, he joined the family law firm, Fields and Cooper, as an attorney specializing in civil suits, personal injury cases and insurance defense. Some of his other current and former roles include:
- Instructor, Continuing Legal Education
- Sunday School Teacher/Deacon, First Presbyterian Church
- Chair, Local Morehead Scholarship Selection Committee
- Chair, March of Dimes Annual Fundraiser
- Member, North Carolina Bar Association
- Board of Directors, North Carolinians for Community Colleges
- Former Board Member, United Way Visions, Incorporated
- Bachelor's degree, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1979) in psychology and political science
- Juris Doctorate degree, University of North Carolina School of Law (1982)
North Carolina Attorney General (2000-Present)
Cooper's first race for North Carolina Attorney General had him outspending his Republican opponent, Dan Boyce, four-to-one and airing attack advertisements claiming that Boyce had overbilled in a class-action lawsuit against the state. He easily won re-election to the office in both 2004 and 2008. Prior to his announcement that would campaign for a third term as Attorney General, Cooper was considered a potential Democratic candidate to run for governor; ultimately he declined the offer.
Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act
On March 11, 2013, Cooper, together with twelve other state attorneys general, sent a letter to Congress in support of the Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act, a bill which would ban for-profit colleges from using federal funds for marketing and recruiting techniques. Sponsored by Senators Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) and Tom Harkin (D-IA), who chairs the chamber's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, the law aims to “ensure that scarce federal education dollars will be used to serve and educate students rather than to finance advertising campaigns, recruitment operations, and aggressive marketing.” Consumer protection is one of the key duties assigned to the attorney general in each state.
According to the law's text, student enrollment at for-profit degree-issuing institutions such as the University of Phoenix more than doubled between 1998-2008, during which time the federal government--through student financial assistance programs--provided 86 percent of revenues to 15 reviewed publicly traded companies operating these for-profit colleges. A separate analysis of 15 such companies concluded that, on average, 28 percent of all expenditures were on advertising, marketing, and recruiting. Critics, including the attorneys general responsible for the letter advocating the bill's passage, contend that these expenditures are used to deceive consumers about program costs, graduation rates, or their employment potential beyond graduation. The bill seeks to restrict spending of this nature by higher education institutions or other postsecondary educational institution by prohibiting use of federal loans or grants in specific areas, and requiring that all such institutions whose revenues can be traced to federal educational assistance funds "report annually to the Secretary and to Congress the institution's expenditures on advertising, marketing, and recruiting."
In the letter, the attorneys general urged, “Federal taxpayers should not be asked to foot the bill for aggressive recruiting and deceptive sales tactics of colleges that have placed profits ahead of ensuring student success.” There are an estimated 3,000 for-profit schools nationwide, though neither the letter nor the bill cited the name of a specific institution.
Two cases Cooper took up late in his second term received national attention. The first was his decision to allow a retrial of former death row inmate Alan Gell who in 1995 had been convicted of the first-degree murder of Allen Ray Jenkins. Gell was acquitted of all charges in February 2004. Nearly two years after he released, Gell plead guilty to statutory rape of his fifteen year old girlfriend and possession of cocaine. The other notable case came in January 2007 when, after Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong recused himself, Cooper's office was given the responsibility of dealing with the Duke Lacrosse Team falsely accused of rape. Ultimately, four months later, Cooper chose to dismiss all charges.
False attack advertisement
Dan Boyce, the Republican candidate for North Carolina Attorney General in 2000, claimed his name had been falsely slandered by Cooper's campaign when he ran a television advertisement that accused Boyce of having overbilled in a class-action lawsuit against the state. He filed suit against Cooper the day before the election was held. After years of bouncing around the United States court system, Judge W. Osmond Smith III from the Wake County Superior Court finally ordered in 2009 the case be brought to trial.
North Carolina Legislature (1987-2000)
Cooper first entered the state political arena in 1986 when he was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives. Four years later, he became a member of the North Carolina Senate where he served as chairman of both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Ethics Committee. In 1997, he chosen by his colleagues as the Democratic Majority Leader.
On October 5, 2013, Cooper announced he is planning to run for governor in 2016.
Cooper sought and won a 4th term as attorney general in the 2012 election. He ran unopposed.
|Attorney General of North Carolina General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Roy Cooper Incumbent||100%||2,828,941|
|Election Results via NC State Board of Elections.|
- Equality NC Action Fund
In the 2008 race for Attorney General, Cooper defeated Republican Bob Crumley. Cooper ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.
|Attorney General, 2008|
In the 2004 Race for Attorney General, Cooper defeated Republican Joe Knott. Cooper was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
|Attorney General, 2004|
Cooper first won election as North Carolina Attorney General in 2000, defeating Republican Dan Boyce and Reform Party candidate Margaret Palms.
|Attorney General, 2000|
|Reform Party||Margaret Palms||2.4%||67,536|
Comprehensive donor information for Cooper is available dating back to 1996. Based on available campaign finance records, Cooper raised a total of $7,116,383 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 20, 2013.
Cooper won re-election to the position of North Carolina Attorney General in 2012. During that election cycle, Cooper raised a total of $583,287.
|North Carolina Attorney General 2012 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Roy Cooper's campaign in 2012|
|Geoffrey D. Durboraw||$6,000|
|Lorillard Tobacco Co||$6,000|
|North Carolina Advocates for Justice||$6,000|
|Aubrey K. McClendon||$4,000|
|Total Raised in 2012||$583,287|
|Total Votes received in 2012||2,828,941|
|Cost of each vote received||$0.21|
|Source:Follow the Money|
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Roy Cooper's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|Roy Cooper's Campaign Contributions|
Attorney General of North Carolina
Attorney General of North Carolina
Attorney General of North Carolina
|Total Raised by General Election Opponents||$1,069,181||$493,955||$546,679|
|Top 5 contributions||North Carolina Democratic Party||$132,573||North Carolina Democratic Party||$64,645||North Carolina Democratic Party||$143,876|
|Aubrey McClendon||$8,000||Roger Perry, Walter Davis, William Allen, Pat Rogers, Marya Shavender, Jo Ann Davis, Robert Speed, and Jim Pillips Jr.||$8,000 each||Fred Mills|
|Citigroup||$8,000||Steve, Jerry, Mrs. Jerry, and Elaine Wordsworth||$8,000 each||Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina|
|Bruton Smith, William Dean Johnson|
Thomas Belk, Jr.
|$6,000 each||Bank of America||$7,000||North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers|
North Carolina Hospital Association
|Anthony Gelderman III|
|$5,500 each||Edward Weisiger Jr., William Armfield IV, James Goodmon, and Mack Pearsall||$7,000 each||Carolina Power & Light,|
Marc Basnight Campaign
and 10 individual donors
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Roy + Cooper + North + Carolina + Attorney"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
Cooper currently resides in Rocky Mount, North Carolina with his wife, Kristin. The couple has had three daughters together - Hilary, Natalie, and Claire.
Attorney General’s Office
9001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
Phone: (919) 716-6400
Fax: (919) 716-6750
- Official North Carolina Attorney General website
- Roy Cooper for Attorney General Campaign website
- Project Vote Smart - Roy Cooper biography
- Campaign contributions: 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2000, 1998, 1996
- North Carolina Department of Justice, "Attorney General biography," accessed September 15, 2012
- WECT, "UPDATE: McCrory plans to sign voter ID bill, despite plea from Cooper," July 26, 2013
- News and Observer, " Roy Cooper," March 26, 2007
- The Library of Congress, "Bill Text 113th Congress (2013-2014) S.528.IS," March 12, 2013
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- The Boston Globe, "Attorney generals to Congress: Don’t let for-profit colleges use federal grants and loans for advertising," March 17, 2013
- Commonwealth of Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, "Letter to Congress," March 11, 2013
- WRAL.com, "Former Death Row Inmate Under Investigation For Statutory Rape" 15 Feb. 2006
- WRAL.com, "Lawsuit against N.C. attorney general will go to trial" 8 May, 2009
- News and Observer, "Cooper revs up NC Democrats for gubernatorial run," October 5, 2013
- QNotes, "Statewide candidate endorsements announced," September 26, 2012
- Follow the Money, " Career fundraising for Roy Cooper," accessed May 20, 2013
- Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
Mike Easley (D)
|North Carolina Attorney General
| Succeeded by|