Jessica M. Karmasek Oct. 8, 2013, 4:15pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) -- North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is all but in for governor in 2016.

According to The Associated Press, Cooper told attendees at the state Democratic party's Western Gala in Asheville Saturday that he intends to run.

Cooper slammed state Republicans at the event, the AP reported.

The attorney general made a somewhat similar announcement -- but more vague -- at another fundraiser he spoke at late last month.

"We have a lot of work to do in 2013 and 2014," Cooper told attendees of the Burke County Democratic Party's annual memorial dinner, held Sept. 28. "I plan to be running in 2016, and not as attorney general."

The former state lawmaker has served as the state's top lawyer since being elected in 2000.

He has been re-elected three times, in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

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