An attorney and business owner from Salisbury, Rowan County, has joined the growing list of contenders for the GOP nomination for governor in North Carolina in 2024. Bill Graham announced his campaign on Wednesday with a press release and video.
Graham joins Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, State Treasurer Dale Folwell, former congressman Mark Walker, former state Sen. Andy Wells, and businessman Jesse Thomas in the quest for the Republican nomination for NC governor.
“I’m running to win a conservative future for North Carolina,” Graham said. “We need a conservative governor who shows up for work and will rescue this state from liberals like Roy Cooper and Josh Stein. I’m the only Republican who will do that.”
Graham also announced that he is investing at least $5 million of his own money in his campaign and that he will begin advertising on statewide television on October 26. He has already started reserving airtime through the remainder of 2023. Frontrunner Robinson had $3.2 million available to him in his latest fundraising report from June.
During the first half of the year, Robinson was able to raise $2.2 million but spent $1.3 million. In contrast, Attorney General Josh Stein, who leads Democrat NC Supreme Court Justice Mike Morgan, raised $6 million in the first half of the year while spending $1.6 million.
In the last financial disclosures, Folwell had about $1.2 million on hand. Walker had about $500k, Wells had just over $60k, and Jesse Thomas had around $25k on hand.
A former prosecutor, Graham is a partner at the law firm Wallace & Graham. He began his career in politics as a staffer for Sen. Jesse Helms R-NC, and previously served on the board of the Helms Center. He ran for governor in 2008. His campaign led politicians to cut and cap the gas tax in the state.
Graham’s business experience includes leadership roles in the banking, insurance, biotech, and media sectors. Until recently, he was a regular guest on the “Good Morning BT with Bo Thompson & Beth Troutman” show on WBT Radio each Thursday.
“Only four of the last thirty years have been led by a Republican governor in North Carolina; we keep losing to the liberals,” Graham said. “If we want to change that, we need a nominee who will have the resources, discipline, and character needed to defeat the far-left Josh Stein in November. I am that candidate, and my campaign will prove it.”
In his video, he said if elected, he would repeal the local food tax, is pro death penalty for violent criminals, including human traffickers and drug dealers, and require public schools to give parents a say in their child’s education. In addition, he says he would create a North Carolina Family Values Commission.
On his website, Graham said he led successful efforts to sue a Chinese-owned company on behalf of North Carolina farmers and homeowners after the company dumped toxic material on their land and, as governor, would change state laws to make it illegal for the Chinese government, companies or citizens to buy land in the state.
He has also sued the federal government on behalf of the United States Marines and their families who got cancer due to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water system.