CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine spent much of the day in Charlotte urging people to get out and vote, saying North Carolina is going to be a key to winning the election.

Kaine talked to early voters at the Hal Marshal Annex in uptown, before driving a few more miles to a noon rally at Heist Brewery in NoDa.

There he spent much of his time talking about Wednesday night’s final debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Kaine said Trump’s statement that he might not accept the results of the November election was unacceptable.

“We cannot let that guy insult this democracy and then jump to being the head of the greatest democratic nation on earth,” said Kaine.

In an exclusive interview with NBC Charlotte’s Rad Berky, Kaine added, “The tradition we have of respecting elections and then a peaceful transition of power is something you can never take for granted because so many people around the world don’t live in countries where that’s possible.”

Kaine was instrumental in the choice of Charlotte for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

The convention was held prior to the passage of House Bill 2.

Asked if he would have backed Charlotte for the convention if HB2 was the law in 2012, Kaine said, “I’m so glad I didn’t have to grapple with that."

Kaine said the state was now paying a steep price for HB2 in terms of jobs lost and boycotts by entertainers.

“There is an economic consequence to this, but it is about more than the economy. It really is about the value statement that North Carolina makes,” said Kaine.

With the election just weeks away now, the parade of candidates will continue with Donald Trump speaking near Asheville Friday, and Hillary Clinton scheduling a stop in North Carolina on Sunday.