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AG Josh Stein, With Numerous Victories Under His Belt, Says He Wants to Take on More ‘Big Fights’ as NC’s Next Governor

Source: Axios

Speaking with Axios Charlotte, Democratic N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein talked about his accomplishments as the state’s top lawyer since 2017 and how that has led him to seek the governor’s office in 2024.

In Stein’s time as attorney general, he has so far taken on e-cigarette company Juul, nearly cleared a backlog of 16,000 untested sexual assault kits (97%, according to Stein), and took part in a $26 billion multi-state opioid settlement with Johnson & Johnson and three other drug companies.

It’s battles like those that have Stein trying to follow in the path of previous governors like Mike Easley and Roy Cooper, who both served as state attorney general before being elected governor.

“I have been fighting for the people of North Carolina as their attorney general, taking on big battles for them and winning — whether it’s opioids, or e-cigarettes or sexual assault kits or child safety, or clean drinking water,” Stein told Axios.

“I want to become governor so I can take on other big fights for them and deliver, whether it’s good jobs, affordable health care, safe communities, strong public schools, or their fundamental freedoms.”

North Carolina was the first state to sue Juul back in May 2019, accusing the company of specifically marketing their e-cigarettes to young people – something Stein had first-hand experience with after finding vape pods in his house that his son said belonged to a friend. In June 2021, Stein announced a $40 million settlement with the company.

Less than a year after the Juul settlement, North Carolina and 45 other states settled with four drug companies for their role in causing America’s opioid crisis. North Carolina’s share of the $26 billion settlement is around $1.4 billion.

“I’m proudest of the life-changing work that my team and I have accomplished in the fight against the opioid epidemic. Opioids are absolutely devastating this country. But we also are at a moment where folks are working together with a dedicated source of revenue to attack this problem,” Stein told Axios.

No other Democrats have announced any intention to run for governor next year. As for the Republicans, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, N.C. Treasurer Dale Folwell and former Congressman Mark Walker are running.


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