Big Showdown Now Set in NC Governor's Race

Trump-backed Mark Robinson will face Democrat Josh Stein
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 5, 2024 9:21 PM CST
Big Showdown Now Set in NC Governor's Race
North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson won the GOP gubernatorial primary.   (AP Photo/Chris Seward, File)

The Democratic attorney general and the Republican lieutenant governor won North Carolina's primaries for governor on Tuesday, the AP projects, setting the stage for what will be an expensive and high-stakes November contest in a state that the two parties see as a pivotal battleground. Josh Stein and Mark Robinson, each of whom turned back multiple party rivals, will present a stark contrast for voters in the ninth-largest state's fall elections.

  • Stein is a longtime member of North Carolina's political scene, a lawyer with the endorsement of term-limited Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and a long history of consumer advocacy before and during his time as AG. He'd be the state's first Jewish governor if elected.

  • Robinson, meanwhile, is a former factory worker who splashed into conservative circles after a 2018 viral speech to his hometown city council—catapulting him to lieutenant governor in 2020 and the endorsement of former President Trump. He's North Carolina's first Black lieutenant governor and would become the state's first Black governor as well.
  • Background: The North Carolina governorship has been a rare success story for Democrats in a Southern state. While the GOP holds narrow veto-proof majorities in the legislature and controls the state Supreme Court, Democrats have lost only one gubernatorial race since 1992.
  • Expensive: The New York Times suggests this might be the most expensive non-presidential election fight in November.
(More North Carolina stories.)

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