Governor Cooper’s Year in Photos: 2023

Governor Roy Cooper
11 min readDec 29, 2023

North Carolina is continuing to gain momentum. Here’s a look back at some of the highlights of 2023, showing how Governor Cooper is working to make our state healthier, better educated and put more money in the pockets of North Carolinians.

January 13, 2023: Gov. Cooper spoke as part of a program at First Baptist Church in Raleigh honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Together, we can create a society at peace with itself, that can live with its conscience. Together, we can enhance North Carolina’s reputation as a welcoming place where diversity, equality, acceptance and understanding are found in every corner,” said Gov. Cooper.

January 19, 2023: Did you know that one blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives? The Governor started off the year by stopping by the American Red Cross in Raleigh to donate blood and proclaim January as Blood Donation Month in North Carolina.

January 26, 2023: Boom! Gov. Cooper helped break ground at the site of Boom Supersonic’s new aviation manufacturing facility in Greensboro. The project aims to bring in an investment of over $500 million and over 1,700 jobs by 2030.

January 27, 2023: *tap* *tap* *tap* Is this thing on? Gov. Cooper joined Tripp Tracy and Mike Maniscalco to call the first period of a Canes game.

February 7, 2023: Making new friends in the classroom isn’t always easy. On a visit to B. Everett Jordan Elementary School in Graham, N.C. to celebrate 2023 School Counselor of the Year Meredith Lindsey Draughn, Gov. Cooper spent some time hanging out in classrooms and making friends.

February 17, 2023: Let’s go Canes! Gov. Cooper sounded the siren at the Fan Fest before the Carolina Hurricanes Stadium Series game at Carter-Finley Stadium. The game generated over $20 million in economic impact.

February 20, 2023: The contributions of so many Black leaders have made North Carolina a stronger and more inclusive place for all. During Black History Month this year, Gov. Cooper honored North Carolina’s lawyers and judges for their critical work in the legal field and judicial system during a ceremony at the Executive Mansion.

February 23, 2023: Every North Carolinian deserves access to clean, safe, healthy drinking water. Gov. Cooper announced $462.9 million for projects to strengthen water infrastructure across the state.

March 6, 2023: Ready for action ahead of the State of the State.

March 6, 2023: “I stand before you to report that the state of our state is bright and energized with the promise of tomorrow.” — Gov. Cooper during his fourth State of the State address.

March 7, 2023: No visit to Lexington is complete without a trip to the Monk. After making a major announcement that a state of the art train manufacturer will pour hundreds of millions of dollars and bring hundreds of jobs into Davidson county, Gov. Cooper and Mitch Landrieu, Senior Advisor to President Biden, stopped in for some barbecue.

March 9, 2023: The Alligator River Bridge represents a critical piece of infrastructure in North Carolina, forming a connection between Tyrrell and Dare counties. Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, North Carolina received a $110 million grant to replace it with an updated bridge.

March 14, 2023: Gov. Cooper made history in North Carolina by signing an Executive Order establishing the state’s Office of Violence Prevention. This administration remains committed to reducing violence and promoting public safety in our state through firearm safety education, violence prevention training, public awareness campaigns and more.

March 16, 2023: Our teachers are the key to North Carolina’s future success. Gov. Cooper visited Scurlock Elementary School to highlight the importance of investing in public education and teacher pay.

Photo: NCHS

March 23, 2023: Public education is the bedrock of our state’s success. Unfortunately, our public schools are under assault — the General Assembly has continuously attempted to pass extreme legislation that would cripple our public education system. Gov. Cooper visited Winter Park Elementary in Wilmington to advocate for increased teacher pay and other meaningful investments in public education.

March 27, 2023: After years of advocating for Medicaid Expansion, Gov. Cooper made history by signing it into law on March 27, 2023, pending the passage of a state budget by Republican legislators. The legislation opened the door for 600,000 more North Carolinians to get access to critical health care as well as a major boost for North Carolina’s economy.

March 28, 2023: North Carolina is the manufacturing hub of the Southeast. Thanks to our federal partners for continuing to invest in our state and help bring good-paying manufacturing jobs to every corner of NC.

April 6, 2023: Gov. Cooper toured the Irene Wortham Early Learning Center to celebrate Week of the Young Child and highlight recommended budget investments for child care. Since Gov. Cooper toured here in 2021, they have used grant funding to raise teacher salaries and retain staff.

April 6, 2023: Canton’s paper mill stood as a symbol of resilience and endurance for over 100 years, an integral part of the town’s identity and a major employer in the region. After the mill was shut down by Pactiv Evergreen, Gov. Cooper traveled to Canton to speak with local leaders and community members who were affected by the closure.

April 19, 2023: Buckle up! Gov. Cooper took a spin in a state-of-the-art electric vehicle to help highlight how North Carolina is leading the way toward a clean energy future.

Photo: Chris Facey

May 13, 2023: Your zip code shouldn’t determine your rights. Gov. Cooper vetoed the Republicans’ harmful abortion ban in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 supporters to take a stand against the Republican assault on women’s reproductive rights in North Carolina.

May 17, 2023: North Carolinians, start your engines. Our state geared up to host the 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

May 30, 2023: Every student in North Carolina deserves a qualified teacher in their classroom and the right to pursue a quality education from cradle to career. Gov. Cooper visited Weaverville Primary School to highlight the need to protect our public schools.

May 30, 2023: Special delivery! The good folks at NASCAR cruised over to the Executive Mansion to celebrate the organization’s 75th anniversary and drop off some new wheels.

June 5, 2023: Safer firearm storage means a safer North Carolina. Gov. Cooper launched the NC S.A.F.E. (Secure All Firearms Effectively) initiative to urge North Carolinians to take action to safely store their firearms and save lives.

June 14, 2023: Place your bets! Gov. Cooper signed into law legislation that will legalize sports wagering in North Carolina beginning in 2024.

June 20, 2023: On this day, 15 new American citizens were sworn in during a special ceremony at the Executive Mansion — the first time in history this has taken place at the Mansion. Diversity is our greatest strength.

June 26, 2023: Gov. Cooper joined U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to participate in a clean energy roundtable and highlight the ways North Carolina continues to lead the charge toward a clean energy future. Over the past few years, North Carolina has attracted major investments and thousands of clean energy jobs from companies like Wolfspeed, VinFast, Toyota and more.

July 11, 2023: CNBC named North Carolina as America’s Top State for Business in 2023 for the second year in a row. Great companies from all over the world continue to do business in North Carolina thanks to our dedicated, diverse, educated workforce.

July 23, 2023: The people of North Carolina are resilient and determined. After an EF-1 tornado rolled through parts of Eastern North Carolina in late July, Gov. Cooper traveled eastward to coordinate recovery efforts with local officials and speak with residents who were impacted by the storms.

August 15, 2023: The residents of Martin County saw firsthand the consequences of delaying the start of Medicaid Expansion. Gov. Cooper visited Martin General Hospital, which filed for bankruptcy and shut down in early August, to highlight the importance of Medicaid Expansion and speak with local elected officials and health care leaders.

August 18, 2023: In 2021, Tropical Storm Fred hit North Carolina, bringing flooding and heavy rainfall that caused significant damage in the western part of our state. The floods reached the high school football stadium in Canton, which had to be shut down and refurbished in the wake of the storms. Two years later, the town of Canton welcomed back Gov. Cooper to perform the coin toss before the first home game since the storm.

August 22, 2023: Gov. Cooper spent some time helping bag school supplies at Tools4Schools, a free classroom supply store for Wake County teachers. He will continue to advocate for increases in teacher pay and other meaningful investments in public education.

August 23, 2023: Gov. Cooper participated in the ribbon cutting for the North Carolina Freedom Park, a project more than 20 years in the making. The Park offers a place for school children, visitors, residents, citizens, and policymakers to learn about the contributions of African Americans toward a better society we all share and to reflect upon the importance of full freedom for every citizen and the sanctity of justice and equality.

October 31, 2023: Happy Halloween! Gov. Cooper and First Lady Kristin Cooper welcomed trick-or-treaters to the Executive Mansion.

November 17, 2023: Trains, trains and more trains. Gov. Cooper joined North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Joey Hopkins on a train from Raleigh to Greensboro to tout record ridership on the NC By Train Piedmont route since a fifth daily round trip began between Raleigh and Charlotte in July.

November 22, 2023: Gov. Cooper made a trip out west to thank first responders for jumping into action to combat the wildfires that impacted the western part of our state.

November 22, 2023: The Thanksgiving season is the perfect time to give back and offer time and support to those in need. Gov. Cooper helped package meals for the Equal Plates Project in Asheville.

December 1, 2023: The launch of life-saving Medicaid Expansion and a historic moment for North Carolina. The day that critical health care became accessible for 600,000 more North Carolinians.

December 11, 2023: Gov. Cooper is working to ensure more North Carolinians can get from point A to point B comfortably, affordably and safely. On Dec. 11, Gov. Cooper joined US Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg at Raleigh Union Station to celebrate the historic $1.09 billion federal grant announced for the S-Line, a faster passenger rail route between Raleigh and Richmond.

December 11, 2023: Gov. Cooper and First Lady Kristin Cooper hosted a Hanukkah menorah lighting ceremony at the Executive Mansion Hanukkah brings light, joy, and a season of giving and gratitude.

December 12, 2023: More than 50 years ago, an impressive crystal chandelier was delivered in a nondescript box to the North Carolina Executive Mansion. The chandelier was a gift from Mrs. Karoline Horowitz, a North Carolina resident who settled in western North Carolina in the 1940s with her husband, Peter, and six-year old son, Bob, after a daring escape from Europe and the Nazis.

On December 12, Bob Horowitz joined Gov. Cooper and First Lady Kristin Cooper at a special event at the Executive Mansion to share stories of his family’s history and the incredible journey of this chandelier, which has become a part of North Carolina history.



Governor Roy Cooper

Roy Cooper understands the challenges facing our families and communities and wants to build a North Carolina that works for everyone.