GOP front-runner for NC governor campaigns against climate ‘liars’

By Adam Aton | 03/05/2024 06:45 AM EST

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is favored in Tuesday’s Republican primary, while Democrats are likely to pick Attorney General Josh Stein.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) (left) and Attorney General Josh Stein (D)

Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (left) and Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein are expected to face each other in the North Carolina gubernatorial race in the fall. AP, Getty

The race for North Carolina governor will likely come down to a Republican who calls climate change “junk science” and a moderate Democrat who serves as the state’s attorney general.

The likely matchup could influence the presidential race as both parties target the key swing state. And whoever wins will enter the governor’s mansion at a time when North Carolina is trying to attract clean energy investments — including for lithium mining — while climate impacts like flooding threaten to upend the coastal state’s property market.

Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is the heavy favorite to win Tuesday’s Republican primary, while Attorney General Josh Stein is cruising to a Democratic nomination to succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.


Robinson, the state’s first Black lieutenant governor, is facing off against GOP state Treasurer Dale Folwell and wealthy attorney Bill Graham. Folwell and Graham — who was endorsed by North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis — have decried Robinson’s history of insulting school shooting survivors, people who are gay or transgender, Jews and others.