Democrats have no incumbent governors running for reelection in 2024, but are defending three open seats. The toughest for them to hold is in North Carolina, a purplish state that’s trended red at the federal level. However, the fact that a particularly polarizing GOP nominee is the favorite for the nomination gives Democrats a slight early advantage in holding onto the Executive Mansion.
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is the clear Republican frontrunner ahead of the March 5 primary. He is facing a well-funded primary challenge from wealthy lawyer Bill Graham, who some Republicans believe would be a less divisive nominee and make for a better challenger to the likely Democratic nominee, Attorney General Josh Stein. The next two months will tell whether Graham can get real support behind him to overtake Robinson or whether it’s a futile exercise in a primary that should play to Robinson’s conservative base.
Robinson burst onto the political scene in 2018 after a video of him addressing the Greensboro City Council defending gun rights went viral. The political neophyte entered the 2020 race for the
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