2024 North Carolina Gubernatorial Contest

Decoding the 2024 North Carolina Gubernatorial Contest: A Comprehensive Examination of the Candidates

The upcoming 2024 elections in North Carolina are poised to be pivotal on numerous fronts. Voters spanning from Bryson City to Buxton are not only set to participate in the presidential election but will also determine a new governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and other vital Council of State positions.

Due to term limits, the current Governor, Roy Cooper, is ineligible for re-election this time. Consequently, North Carolina will witness a new leader at its helm for the first time since 2016. This impending change raises questions: will the electorate follow past patterns, like the selection of the Democratic attorney general in 2016, or the choice of Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue in 2008 to transition into the governor’s role? Or might they opt for a candidate from outside the current Council of State, akin to the election of former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory in 2012?

Here is an exhaustive list of the candidates running for the Governor of North Carolina in the lead-up to the 2024 primary election, scheduled for March 5.

In the political landscape of North Carolina, the upcoming 2024 governor’s race holds significant importance. As voters from Bryson City to Buxton prepare to cast their ballots in both the presidential and gubernatorial elections, the state anticipates a pivotal change in leadership, with the departure of incumbent Governor Roy Cooper due to term limits.

Here’s an in-depth exploration of the candidates vying for the role of Governor of North Carolina in the 2024 primary election scheduled for March 5.

Lt. Governor Mark Robinson, Republican from North Carolina, speaks to the crowd at former US president Donald Trump’s rally, Sept. 23, 2022, in Wilmington, North Carolina. &The budd, Republican Candidate for U.S. Sente from north Carolina, look on sept. 23, 2023 , in Wilmington, N.C  (AP Photo/Chris Seward)


Dale Folwell

Dale Folwell, the current State Treasurer, brings a wealth of experience, having previously worked in the state Division of Employment Security and served as the State House Representative for North Carolina’s 74th District. His candidacy reflects a seasoned politician seeking to transition to the state’s highest office.

Bill Graham

Announcing his candidacy in mid-October, Graham, an attorney based in Salisbury, entered the race late. His prior attempt for the position in 2008 ended in defeat to fellow Republican Pat McCrory. Graham intends to inject $5 million of his personal funds into his campaign, emphasizing tax cuts on food and advocating for harsher penalties for drug dealers.

Bill Graham, a Salisbury-based attorney, entered the race in mid-October, pledging a substantial personal investment. His platform emphasizes tax cuts on food and stringent penalties for drug dealers, adding a distinctive perspective to the Republican lineup.

Mark Robinson

Considered a leading contender for the Republican nomination, Robinson made history as the first Black person elected Lt. Governor of North Carolina in the 2020 election. With a background in the Army Reserves and former factory work, Robinson gained attention in 2018 for a viral video advocating for gun rights at a Greensboro City Council meeting. He has consistently supported former President Donald Trump, though he has faced criticism for endorsing conspiracy theories and making controversial statements regarding the LGBTQ community and women.

Andy Wells
A former member of the North Carolina Board of Transportation and state legislature, Wells, a real estate developer from Hickory, is re-entering the race for a statewide position, now seeking the governorship. He previously ran for lieutenant governor in 2020, securing second place in the Republican primary with 14.5% of the vote in a crowded field.

Michael Morgan
Joining the race for the governor’s mansion, Morgan, a former state Supreme Court Justice, declared his candidacy in early September. With educational backgrounds from Duke and North Carolina Central universities, Morgan served on the state’s highest court until his recent resignation in September 2023. His prior roles include District Court Judge in Wake County, service in the state Superior Court, tenure at the North Carolina Department of Justice, and a stint as the state assistant attorney general from 1983 to 1989.

Josh Stein
Perceived as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, Stein initially stood as the sole party member running to succeed Cooper. After seven years in the state Senate, Stein was elected as North Carolina’s attorney general in 2016, then re-elected in 2020 by narrow margins. Throughout his tenure, Stein has taken legal action against entities such as the U.S. Postal Service and e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL. He notably facilitated settlements from drug manufacturers to combat the opioid epidemic. Recently, Stein threatened legal action against the NCAA over UNC-Chapel Hill football player Tez Walker’s eligibility. His campaign, endorsed by Cooper in August, raised $6 million in the first half of 2023.
Note: The Medicaid plan offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina candidate withdrew from the gubernatorial race to pursue the Secretary of State position.

This comprehensive guide highlights the diverse array of candidates vying for the North Carolina Governorship in the 2024 elections. Stay tuned for updates as the primary election on March 5 approaches.

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