Former state legislator and candidate for lieutenant governor Andy Wells has thrown his hat in the ring for the Republican nomination for governor in North Carolina. 

“One fact I’ve learned: Politicians don’t solve problems – they create problems,” Wells said on his website. “Right now, we’re facing inflation and soaring debt with a recession looming on the horizon. And politicians can’t fix our broken politics. We need leaders with common sense who can.”

Source: Andy Wells for Governor Twitter feed.

Wells, a real estate developer and NC Board of Transportation member from Hickory, joins a growing list of candidates on the Republican ticket vying for the top spot in the state, including State Treasurer Dale Folwell; former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker; and Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who has been leading in the polls. 

Robinson beat Wells in the 2020 Republican primary for lieutenant governor with close to 241,000 votes or 32.5% of the vote, compared to Wells’ almost 108,000 or 14.5%. 

The Republican primary winner in the 2024 election has a good shot at facing off against Attorney General Josh Stein, currently the lone contender for the Democratic nomination for governor. But nothing is set in stone, as state Supreme Court Justice Michael Morgan said he is considering a run for the ticket. He also announced last month that he would not be seeking re-election in 2024.

Wells said on his website that the U.S. should secure the border and stop illegal immigration. He also said police should be supported, and he supports the right to keep and bear arms, being a gun owner for many years. 

He also supports school resource officers because students need to feel safe while in school. “Beyond that, schools should educate, not indoctrinate students,” Wells said. “Using schools to push agendas like political correctness or to promote political ideologies doesn’t improve education.”

Wells, a former John Locke Foundation board member, said that he also backs both recent Supreme Court rulings on affirmative action and freedom of religion and that he is pro-life, believing that life begins at conception. Wells said he agrees with exceptions for abortion in cases of rape, incest, and when a mother’s life is in danger.

He served in the House, representing the 96th district, from 2013-2015 and in the Senate from the 42nd district from 2015 to 2020.