Political newcomer Robinson wins GOP Lt Gov’s nomination

March 4, 2020 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A former factory worker and day care operator whose gun rights speech before a North Carolina city council vaulted him to prominence among conservatives won the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor on Tuesday in a crowded field.

First-time candidate Mark Robinson of Greensboro got the most votes and exceeded the 30% threshold needed to win outright and avoid a runoff.

Current state Sen. Andy Wells was second in a primary that also included current Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson, former U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers and ex-state Rep. Scott Stone. Robinson’s 2018 recorded speech before the Greensboro council went viral, making him a nationwide speaker.


Democrats appeared headed to a May runoff for their lieutenant governor’s nomination, as state Rep. Yvonne Holley of Raleigh led the five-candidate field but stayed below 30%. State Sen. Terry Van Duyn of Asheville finished second, so she could officially call for a runoff with Holley.

Current Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, a Republican, won Tuesday’s GOP gubernatorial nomination.

In the races to succeed Johnson as state schools chief, education professor Jen Mangrum won the Democratic primary over four other candidates. In the Republican primary, Catherine Truitt, the North Carolina chancellor for Western Governors University, defeated state Rep. Craig Horn.

In other Council of State primaries, Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill won the Republican attorney general’s nomination over Sam Hayes and Christine Mumma. O’Neill faces Democratic incumbent Josh Stein in November.

Democratic State Auditor Beth Wood and Republican insurance Commissioner Mike Causey both won their primaries. Wood beat Democrat Luis Toledo while Causey defeated Ronald Pierce, as he did in 2016.

Wood will take on Republican Tony Street, who won Tuesday’s nomination over Tim Hoegemeyer. Former Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, now the state Democratic Party chairman, is his party’s nominee to challenge Causey. Causey unseated Goodwin in 2016.

Republican Josh Dobson, a state legislator, defeated Chuck Stanley and Pearl Burris Floyd for the nomination for labor commissioner. Current Commissioner Cherie Berry isn’t seeking reelection. Dobson will take on Democrat Jessica Holmes.

Republican E.C. Sykes beat Chad Brown and Michael LaPaglia to win the nomination for secretary of state. Incumbent Elaine Marshall is the Democratic nominee.

The Democratic challenger to Republican Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler will be Jenna Wadsworth, who defeated fellow Democrats Donovan Alexander Watson and Walter Smith.

In the Democratic primary for state treasurer, Ronnie Chatterji narrowly defeated Matt Leatherman, and Dimple Ajmera. The Republican nominee is incumbent Dale Folwell.