In a much-anticipated rally at Ace Speedway in Elon, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson declared his candidacy for governor of N.C., joining N.C. State Treasurer Dale Folwell in the Republican primary field.
If elected in November, Robinson will be the first black governor in the history of North Carolina.
“We the people of North Carolina need someone who understands us; we don’t need another politician who spent their life climbing the political ladder.” said Robinson as he opened his remarks. “Here in this state, we need and deserve to have a governor that will step up and lead the charge against irresponsible, liberal policies that would hurt our economy and our state.”
His speech detailed his hard-scrabble upbringing and his election as the first black lieutenant governor of the state. He also listed a wide range of issues he plans to address if elected governor, which included supporting law enforcement; lowering taxes; and building a strong economy through investment in communities, infrastructure, a strong workforce, and better education.
He also received endorsements from several members of the N.C. Republican legislative delegation. State Sen. Brad Overcash, R-Gaston, said he respected Robinson’s ability to fight for the liberty of North Carolinians.
“The thing I respect the most about Mark Robinson is that he is going to carry on a long tradition of fighting for our liberty here in North Carolina,” Overcash said. “You see the legislative support here — we see all of us here at this rally — I am convinced this is the largest rally we have ever had in North Carolina for a state-level candidate. Let’s carry this momentum forward, and let’s elect Mark Robinson the next governor of North Carolina.”
Robinson also received endorsements from U.S. Sen. Ted Budd and U.S. Congressman Dan Bishop, Republicans who represent North Carolina in Congress. Each provided video statements of support.
“We need a governor focused on the bottom line of North Carolina families, a strong voice for all who live paycheck to paycheck and wonder where their kids will find a job,” Budd said in his video endorsement. “Mark Robinson has the courage we need as governor. He’s a man of faith and conviction, and he hasn’t spent his whole life in politics. He’s seen adversity and he’s risen above it. The American dream is engrained in Mark Robinson, and he’ll preserve it for the next generation. It’s time to reclaim the governor’s mansion for working families, and that’s why I’m endorsing Mark Robinson for governor.”
Recent polling has shown that voters prefer Robinson to the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein.
Robinson’s candidacy had drawn the ire of Stein well before the lieutenant governor’s Saturday announcement.
“Mark Robinson is an extremist and conspiracy theorist who would drag our state backward,” Stein said in a tweet published on March 22.
At the rally, C.J. spoke with Hershel Patel, a resident of Charlotte, about his thoughts on Robinson’s candidacy.
“I think Mark is the candidate that we need to finally take back the governor’s mansion in 2024,” Patel said. “He is helping to make us a red state like Florida, and very soon we will be a fully red state,” he said.
Kevin Abplanalp, a concerned N.C. citizen, said he liked the fact that Robinson is not a typical politician.
“Mark has his finger on the pulse of the state,” said Abplanalp. “He speaks to what the average American is experiencing. He’s a guy who doesn’t have to check the polls before he opens his mouth. You know where he stands on things and you know where you stand with him and I think that is what the voters are ready for.”