Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, the firebrand conservative who skyrocketed onto the political scene several years ago, announced Monday that he would not run for U.S. Senate after considering the move for several weeks. Robinson was elected last year as North Carolina’s first black lieutenant governor after a 2018 video of him speaking to the Greensboro City Council went viral.

Last week, Carolina Journal broke the news that Robinson was seriously considering the race and that people close to him has polled the race. On Friday April 16, Robinson’s chief of staff told Carolina Journal that Robinson would decide by the end of the month.

Robinson decided much more quickly.

“I want to thank everyone that has been with us through the process of making such a huge decision,” Robinson stated in a press release Monday evening that made official his decision not to enter the Senate race.

“During the 2022 election cycle I will be working to recruit and support candidates at every level of government,” he continued. “Here in N.C. Republicans have the chance to regain super majorities in the House and Senate. In our United States Congress I believe Republicans are in a strong position to take back the House and Senate. I will work tirelessly to ensure that happens.”

Former Gov. Pat McCrory and former Congressman Mark Walker are the two major announced candidates in the primary race. Congressman Ted Budd, R-13th District, is expected to join the race.