GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A Republican candidate for the North Carolina governor’s race is taking swipes at front-runner Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson over his financial past.
WRAL-TV spoke with a man named Kermit Robinson, no relation, who was Mark Robinson’s former landlord. He said that he had to evict Robinson’s family after they had not paid rent on a “middle-class” home they were renting in 2012.
Kermit Robinson said that he did not pursue the back rent after going through the courts to evict them, and the money owed amounts to around $2,000. At the time, the landlord’s wife was ill with cancer, according to WRAL.
Mark Walker, who will be running against Robinson in the Republican primary for the 2024 governor’s race, released a statement in response to the report.
“I don’t know what’s most disturbing, the fact that Mark Robinson refused to pay rent on a property in which he lived, that he stiffed an elderly homeowner whose wife was dying, or that he now says it’s not his fault because the man should have taken him to court to force him to pay. They’re all alarming, and each one is disqualifying for someone who wants to be the next governor of North Carolina.
“Mark Robinson has had more than a decade to make it up to the elderly gentleman, but he has never done so, choosing instead to cast blame on anyone other than himself. This is not the kind of leadership North Carolinians expect from their elected officials, but for Mark Robinson, sadly, it’s a troubling pattern.”
Robinson has been open about his previous financial struggles in life, with his childhood growing up poor in Greensboro being the center point of many of his campaign speeches. Unpaid tax bills and multiple bankruptcies have followed Robinson as well, and Walker has made remarks about his financial woes in the past.
A spokesperson for the Mark Robinson campaign, Mike Lonergan, responded to the WRAL story and Walker’s comments with the following statement:
“It is sad that Mark Walker is dredging up more-than-a-decade-old news from a lifelong Democrat in a desperate ploy to save his flailing campaign. As you can see in the attached court records, the court did not order for the plaintiff (the landlord) to recover any rent or damages. There is a legal process for that and the landlord did not pursue it within the statute of limitations.”
The Mark Robinson campaign provided two documents, a “complaint in summary ejectment” and “judgment in action of summary ejectment.” The documents show that Mark Robinson was behind on rent by $2,028.87 and confirms, as both Kermit Robinson and the Mark Robinson campaign stated, the landlord did not pursue the back rent.