RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republican North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson said he’s fairly certain that he will run for governor in 2024, instead of seeking a second term in his current post.
Robinson was elected last November to the second-highest executive branch position in the state in his first run for political office.
Current Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, won a second four-year term in 2020 but can’t seek reelection due to term limits, creating an open seat.
“We’re about 95% sure we’re gonna run for governor,” Robinson said in the posted recording of a public conference call Tuesday with E.W. Jackson, a minister and former Virginia political candidate. “We have not announced that we’re going to run for governor, but we’re about 95% there, and it’s a logical step for us to take. So, be on the lookout for that.”
Robinson, who is also the state’s first Black lieutenant governor, has been an outspoken advocate of efforts to limit what conservatives call racial indoctrination or “critical race theory” in classrooms.
He’s faced recent resignation demands after comments he made about sex education in schools that critics say disparaged LGBTQ people. Robinson said his words focused on reading materials found in some public schools, not people, and hasn’t apologized.
Every North Carolina lieutenant governor going back more than 50 years ultimately ran for governor, with mixed results.
Robinson said on the call that he decided against a run for U.S. Senate next year because “we believe the work that we need to do is right here in the state.”
Right Wing Watch, an arm of the liberal advocacy group People For the American Way, mentioned Robinson’s comments about a potential run in a Thursday news release.