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Josh Stein Frames Governor’s Race Against Mark Robinson as an Election to Determine Our Future Rights in NC

Source: Editorial Board

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Attorney General Josh Stein has sounded the alarm over the damage that could be done by a Mark Robinson governorship – years of economic and social progress down the drain in exchange for right-wing policies and a Trump-like bully in the Executive Mansion.

Stein spoke at the 2024 state Democratic Party convention earlier this month and used his time to talk about the stakes of this fall’s election – North Carolinians’ rights. The election is now less than five months away. Recent polling has shown that the Stein-Robinson matchup is in flux with the candidates exchanging leads in various polls.

In his convention speech, Stein laid out his vision for leading North Carolina if elected governor.

“We can be a state with a robust economy with opportunity for all, not a state that drives people away,” Stein said, according to WRAL. “A state where we invest in public education, not one that slashes funding from our public schools. A state where we stand up for our fundamental rights like voting rights and women’s rights, not one that sends us back to the 1960s.”

Stein said that Robinson “wants to turn back the clock.”

The Robinson campaign’s spokesperson responded to the speech and told WRAL that Stein’s comment was “racist,” which is a wild claim from the campaign of a man who is best known because of his hate speech and his apparent disdain for the work of Black civil rights activists.

Robinson’s history of disgusting rhetoric targeting women and the LGBTQ+ community is a big reason why most state Democrats and even some Republicans believe a Robinson-led North Carolina would make it far more difficult to recruit businesses and workers to the state.

Stein’s “turn back the clock” comment came a week after the NCGOP convention where Robinson promised to reshape state agencies that handle education policy, public safety, public health, and environmental regulations – just to name a few – in a right-wing direction if he becomes governor.

“It is the governor who is the person that appoints the people who will hold sway” over the day-to-day workings of state government, Robinson said. “… That’s what we intend to bring, to the office of the governor. We intend to bring change.”

One of the biggest changes we could see in North Carolina under a Gov. Robinson term is an even stricter ban on abortion, or potentially the outlawing of it entirely – like he has said he would do if elected governor.

Robinson has denied that he ever said he would “ban abortion entirely in North Carolina” despite the video evidence of him saying it. His campaign now claims that the current lieutenant governor supports a further ban on abortion down to six weeks from the current 12-week ban.

Stein’s campaign has focused heavily on protecting abortion rights. He has said he wants to restore the legal protections from Roe v. Wade and, in his position as state attorney general, has joined federal lawsuits filed in defense of reproductive rights.

Stein is correct in his framing of the governor’s race as a contest to determine the future rights North Carolinians will have. Stein has a forward-thinking and inclusive vision for North Carolina’s future where public education, reproductive rights, voting rights and other basic tenets of a functioning democracy are valued and prioritized. Mark Robinson’s vision for North Carolina would make the Tar Heel State one of the most extreme right-wing states in America. We’ve already seen how someone like Mark Robinson would govern. We lived through four years of it with Donald Trump and North Carolinians don’t need another four years of it with Robinson.


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