AG Josh Stein will face Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson in race for governor

Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein and Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson won North Carolina’s primaries for North Carolina governor.

Their victories on Tuesday set the stage for what will be an expensive and high-stakes November contest in a state that the two parties see as a pivotal battleground.

Robinson, a conservative, has defended the Second Amendment, and law enforcement and supports abortion restrictions.

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Robinson Saturday at a rally in Greensboro.

Stein advocates for consumer protection, environmental rights, fighting the opioid epidemic, and defending women’s rights to reproductive health access.

Outgoing, term-limited Gov. Roy Cooper endorsed Stein.

The North Carolina governorship has been a rare success story for Democrats in a Southern state, the AP reported. While the GOP holds narrow veto-proof majorities in the legislature and controls the state Supreme Court, Democrats have lost only one gubernatorial race since 1992.

But Democrats have scored presidential victories in North Carolina only twice over the past half-century, with former President Donald Trump winning narrowly in 2016 and 2020. President Joe Biden is weighing whether to invest heavily for its 16 electoral votes. Stein could be weighed down by President Joe Biden’s low poll numbers.

You can see the North Carolina candidates’ responses to The Political Beat county-by-county Candidate Guide by clicking this link.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.

Hunter Sáenz

Hunter Sáenz, wsoctv.com

Hunter is a reporter for Channel 9.