/ Updated 
By Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper are meeting in a gubernatorial debate, their first public face-off since the governor signed a law limiting LGBT rights in the state.

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 4: North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (C) speaks with guests at U.S. Rep. Thom Tillis's watch party at The Omni Hotel Ballroom on November 4, 2014, in Charlotte, North Carolina. U.S. Rep. Thom Tillis (R-NC) is running in a tight race for the North Carolina Senate seat against opponent U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC). (Photo by Davis Turner/Getty Images)Davis Turner / Getty Images

Cooper and McCrory are participating in a forum Friday in Charlotte. Their campaign is expected to be among the most expensive nationwide and the best chance for a Democrat to flip a gubernatorial seat held by a Republican.

The law known as House Bill 2 has been condemned by gay-rights groups, corporate executives and entertainers.

Cooper wants the law repealed. McCrory has defended the law, citing privacy protections for people. Provisions directing transgender people to use government and public school restrooms designated for their biological sex is being challenged in court.