RALEIGH, N.C. — Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest isn’t getting a heads-up from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper when Cooper travels outside North Carolina.

The state constitution makes the lieutenant governor the “acting governor” when the governor is absent from the state, but Forest spokesman Jamey Falkenbury tells WRAL-TV they only learn about Cooper’s travels after the fact. Forest’s staff says that’s different than Cooper’s predecessor, GOP Gov. Pat McCrory.

WRAL reports Cooper has left the state about a dozen times since becoming governor in January, including last weekend to visit family. Cooper’s office says he “remains in communication with staff, Cabinet and emergency response officials” as needed on the road. Cooper spokesman Jamal Little says the governor “will delegate authority if ever needed.”

Forest is a likely candidate for governor in 2020.

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