North Carolina gubernatorial candidates, Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson and Attorney General Josh Stein, spoke to a crowd of over 500 Thursday at the Greater Wilmington Business Journal’s Power Breakfast. 


Robinson, the Republican nominee and Stein, the Democratic nominee both came out of the gate with their view on the economic future for the state. 

“We have to make sure that the economy works for everyone, and that real economic opportunity is more broadly distributed across the state,” Stein said. “It means investing in broadband, water and sewer, roads, and railroads, port, and airports and yes, bridges; that’s how we keep North Carolina moving.” 

Robinson told the crowd his campaign is “laser-focused on the substantive issues that face all North Carolinians,” including the economy and education system. 

“Our economy is built on pillars, public safety, public education, healthcare, infrastructure, and housing.” he said. “If you don’t have any of those five things you can’t have a healthy economy, if any of those things is weak your economy is going to suffer.” 


Both candidates agreed that public education is vital for the state of North Carolina and its continued growth. Stein emphasized that the education system must serve all students, regardless of their future plans. 

“All kids should be able to get a good education from early childhood pre-K through community college and University so that they can succeed whether they go to college or they start their career.” he said. “Strengthen career and technical education and apprenticeship programs because while college is right for many people, it’s not right for every person and someone should not have to go to college to provide for his or her family.” 

Robison talked about his support for educators and the amount of money spent on public education in the state. 

“The saddest statistic in the state is that we spend 61% of our state budget on public education and our children can’t read statistically speaking on a grade level.” Robinson continued. “The overwhelming majority of our teachers are great people doing a great job under some of the most difficult circumstances you can imagine, they are not paid well, they are not protected, and they are not respected.” 

Mark Robinson on education. Source: Greater Wilmington Business Journal

Political Attacks

Josh Stein reiterated points from recent political ads by his campaign, criticizing Robinson’s past comments. 

“My opponent, Mark Robinson‘s vision is one of division and hate,” Stein said. “It is about fighting these job killing culture wars. He says truly awful things about  human beings, calls public school teachers wicked people, says people who work in the film industry are demons. He wants to slash school funding. He wants to make it harder for people to vote. He wants to abolish the affordable care act and Medicaid expansion. He says he wants to ban abortion for any reason because women were not responsible enough to keep their skirts down.” 

Stein’s comments on Mark Robinson. Source: Greater Wilmington Business Journal

Robinson took a different approach and claimed his campaign would not be attacking the record of the Attorney General. 

“You’re not gonna hear a whole bunch about social issues, you’re not even gonna hear me talk about my opponent,” Robinson responded. ” I’ll let his work speak for itself or should I say the work he hasn’t done speak for itself. We’re gonna be laser focused on the substantive issues that will take North Carolina to its next great height.”

There are currently no public debates scheduled between the two candidates, the gubernatorial election will take place on November 5th. 

The full comments for Mark Robinson and Josh Stein are available here.