Dobson announces he won’t seek re-election as N.C. Labor commissioner

N.C. Commissioner of Labor Josh Dobson at the Dec. 6, 2022, meeting of the N.C. Council of State. Courtesy of N.C. Treasurer Facebook Livestream.

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  • Dobson will have served 14 consecutive years in three different offices when his term ends in 2024, first as a McDowell County commissioner, then as a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, and as the Commissioner of Labor.

At Tuesday’s Council of State meeting, Republican North Carolina Commissioner of Labor Josh Dobson announced that he will not seek re-election in 2024.

“I feel the time is right for me to step out of elected office; it’s nothing more, and it’s nothing less than that,” Dobson said. “I’m so grateful for the support of my family. They have supported me during each of my previous five elections, and they are supportive now of my decision to not run for re-election. I’m also grateful for the employees at the North Carolina Department of Labor and the work they do every day to keep North Carolinians safe.”

He also said he would not be a candidate for any other office.

Josh Dobson on elevator inspection certificate
N.C. Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson’s face appears on an elevator inspection certificate. (Carolina Journal photo by Mitch Kokai)

Dobson said that when this term is up, he will have served 14 consecutive years in three different offices. He got his start in public office as a county commissioner in McDowell County, where he served for two years. He was appointed to the N.C. House of Representatives in 2013, after Mitch Gillespie resigned, and served until 2020, when he was elected as the commissioner of Labor.

He said that while he doesn’t know what’s next for him after his term is up in two years, he has a passion for public service and healthcare policy, particularly closing the coverage gap.

Dobson said he was grateful for the employees at the Department of Labor and is proud of the work they have done and what they have accomplished. He gave a special thanks to Department of Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler for his friendship and support and to the people of North Carolina for the opportunity to serve.

“Let me be clear; I’m not going anywhere,” Dobson said. “My focus over the next two years will be health and safety in the workplace, toning down the political rhetoric, and working with this council and this General Assembly to find innovative solutions to the workforce shortage across the state, and, in particular, state government. It is an unbelievable privilege to sit at this table with every one of you, and I look forward to the good work we can accomplish together over the next two years.”

Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper thanked Commissioner Dobson for his work in his position and for his time in the legislature. He noted that he and Dobson have the same amount of time — two years and twenty-four days — left in their respective roles.