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Heated North Carolina Governor's Race: Josh Stein vs. Mark Robinson

NC's primaries for governor set up a high-stakes showdown between AG Stein and Lt. Gov. Robinson in a pivotal battleground.

The primaries for governor in North Carolina were held on Tuesday, resulting in the Democratic attorney general and the Republican lieutenant governor emerging as the winners. This sets the stage for a highly anticipated November contest in a state that is considered a critical battleground for both parties. Josh Stein and Mark Robinson, the winners of the primaries, offer voters a clear contrast in their backgrounds and policies.

Stein, a seasoned figure in North Carolina politics with a background in consumer advocacy, has the endorsement of outgoing Democratic Governor Roy Cooper. If elected, he would be the state's first Jewish governor. On the other hand, Robinson, a former factory worker who gained prominence in conservative circles after a viral speech in 2018, has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. He is North Carolina's first Black lieutenant governor and could become the state's first Black governor.

Both Stein and Robinson have proven to be strong fundraisers, collectively amassing $30 million in campaign funds since early 2021. The race for the governorship is expected to be costly, with Democratic and Republican groups gearing up for a competitive battle in November.

Stein's main primary rival was former state Supreme Court Associate Justice Mike Morgan, while Robinson faced off against State Treasurer Dale Folwell and trial attorney Bill Graham. The North Carolina governorship has historically been a stronghold for Democrats in a predominantly Republican Southern state. However, the GOP has made significant gains in other areas of state government.

The upcoming election will be closely watched, as the outcome could have implications for national politics. Democratic President Joe Biden is considering investing resources in North Carolina, a state that has been narrowly won by Trump in the past two presidential elections. Stein's alignment with Democratic policies may be influenced by Biden's popularity in the state.

Robinson's controversial statements on LGBTQ+ issues and other topics have raised concerns among some voters, with his primary rivals questioning his electability. Trump's endorsement of Robinson at a recent rally has also sparked debate, with the former president comparing him to civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

Stein's focus on consumer protection, environmental issues, and education aligns with the priorities of the Democratic party in North Carolina. He has been a vocal advocate for progressive policies and has opposed Republican efforts to push a conservative agenda in the state.

Robinson's personal story of overcoming adversity and his commitment to bringing manufacturing jobs back to North Carolina have resonated with voters like Paul Babski, an architect from Apex. Babski cited Robinson's background and speeches as reasons for his support in the GOP primary.

The race for governor in North Carolina promises to be a closely contested battle, with Stein and Robinson offering voters distinct choices in terms of policy and leadership style. The outcome of the November election will have far-reaching implications for the state and could shape the future of politics in North Carolina.

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