RALEIGH (WTVD) --House Bill 2 is taking center stage in the gubernatorial race, with the top contenders standing their respective grounds on opposite sides of the debate.
Democratic candidate Roy Cooper and Republican incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory both spoke out Wednesday on the law's economic impact on North Carolina at the State Chamber of Commerce Conference.
Business leaders from across the state gathered at the Convention Center for the lengthy conference.
"This is a global economy, it's highly competitive. We have all the tools that we need to get the job done. But we don't need this extra hurdle now that is causing significant problems for us," said Democratic candidate Roy Cooper on HB2. "It should not have happened to start with."
Cooper says he has been in touch with several CEOs across the country trying to convince them not to leave the state.
"This is a significant issue for us. I wish it were not," said Cooper. "North Carolina is a great place to do business. We want people to come, do business, and help us get rid of House Bill 2."
Cooper's position is marginally helping him, according to a recent statewide poll. "Red America, Blue America" found that 41 percent of voters back Cooper, 36 percent back Republican incumbent Pat McCrory, and 6 percent beack Libertarian Lon Cecil. 16 percent of voters are undecided.
HB2 bans transgender people from using the restrooms that doesn't match the biological sex listed on their birth certificates.
Read More: Department of Justice says HB2 violates federal civil rights laws
McCrory believes HB2 is a common sense law.
"It's logic, but it's not politically correct apparently," said McCrory during an interview on the nationally syndicated radio talk show The Big Show with John Boy and Billy.
McCrory hinted his stance could cost him the office.
"I might be in trouble and I might be looking for a side job over here," he said.
Read More: Gov. McCrory: 'I might be in trouble'
McCrory also criticized businesses for taking a stand against HB2 and threatening to leave North Carolina.
"The hypocrisy, the selective outrage," he said. "Companies can express their viewpoint. But if you're going to express your viewpoint, but go in or go all out. I think they're making a mistake by getting involved in politics."
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